St Stephens Morning 196?

1 Leave a comment on verse 1 0 Jumping up and down
To keep the circulation sound
We couldn’t even move from side to side
Those early morn kick offs
Endured through snow and Old Jack Frost
Were mighty signs of loyalty, in our eyes?

2 Leave a comment on verse 2 0 Seemed every old “un” had: a scarf,
Bobble hat, a small hip flask
He slyly swigged to keep the cold at bay
As us young boys looked on aghast
Old blokes would slug then make a pass
As cute as any seen on grass, to their old mates.

3 Leave a comment on verse 3 0 As Players smoke did waft upwards
We stamped our small feet where we stood
On steps of concrete hard and unforgiving
The fans good humour kept cold out
While the smell of fags and brussel sprouts
Sent punters in to raptures noses pinching.

4 Leave a comment on verse 4 0 Our extra jumpers kept us warm
On this particular Stephens morn
Thick socks and balaclava’s, winter vests
And when our idols trod the cud
Sheds choristers got started up
On songs so fast we dare not pause for breath.

5 Leave a comment on verse 5 0 In the sanctity of The Shed
I stood amidst the throbbing heads
As Mary Hopkins sang in dulcet tone
“Those Were The Days My Friend” she went
Whilst women, kids and half cut men
Clapped, thrilled to bits our team were here at home.

6 Leave a comment on verse 6 0 The match was in full swing
Just like the eyes of many men
When we scored a goal that sent our space quite mad
As I looked on in sheer delight
I was taken riding on a tide
Toward another place amidst some other fans.

7 Leave a comment on verse 7 0 Me mates seemed far away
Sometimes it’s interesting that way
You get to hear fresh views and other calls
There’re those who loathe the boss
And those who couldn’t give a toss
As long as we went out and gave our all.

8 Leave a comment on verse 8 0 When the next goal hit the net
I grabbed a barrier near me neck
As I didn’t fancy riding on the waves
With fans who towered over me
By at least two, maybe three old feet
Straight up it was fate deemed where I stayed.

9 Leave a comment on verse 9 0 Down on the terrace near me feet
A ten bob note had been set free
I could’nt quite believe what I was seeing
Without delay I snatched it up
In to my sky, a lucky pup*
For ten shillings found as Chelsea went on winning.

10 Leave a comment on verse 10 0 Now I was an honest sort of kid
But that ten bob was kept well hid
Until the whistle went and we had won
And after all whom could I tell?
T’was some dilemma for a young fellow
So much that when home indoors, I didn’t even tell me mum!


This is a true story of good fortune and a wonderful time that came to me over the holiday, albeit slightly vague as I can’t quite remember the year, from the great old days of being stood up amongst the Chelsea fans in The Shed, at Stamford Bridge of a Boxing Day morning for an early kick -off. When most of the punters were still rocking and rolling from the previous days over indulgence.

Mary Hopkin, the wonderful Welsh singer, had I think been signed to the Beatles Apple label this year? Anyway ardent Chelsea fans had rather cleverly adopted and finely tuned her number one song so that it was often sung on our terraces during the match.

A brown ten shilling note in those days, to a small inner city kid like me, was an absolute fortune, and to this day, I have had to live with the infinate shame about not taking said note along to the stewards room and having my find broadcast out over the tannoy in order to return the lost brown note back to it’s rightful owner and what’s worse still, not even telling me mum. Yeah right!

*Sky is cockney slang for sky rocket, pocket.

A Happy New Year To All.



Source: http://footballpoets.org/poems/st-stephens-morning-196/