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Thanks Paul ( for Paul Cannoville)

1 Leave a comment on verse 1 0 When the Windrush docked at Tilbury,
In that post-war world of austerity,
And furtive glances from behind net curtains,
Men in 50 shilling suits from Burtons,
You knew about the smoke and fog,
But not “No Blacks, Irish or dogs”,
And like noble trees in a rushing wind,
You faced that choice – to stand, or bend.
Your children too had to trudge uphill,
Like the 20 year old Paul Cannoville;
Selhurst Park, nervous, standing on the line,
Waiting to run on for the very first time,
When all around came the boos and chants,
From all 4 sides came the racist rants,
But not from supporters of Crystal Palace,
It was Chelsea fans screaming their malice,
So what could you do, Paul? Stand or bend?
For a Palace fan in the Palace end
Said “This is still the most vile thing I have seen
At a football match. I will never forget it.”
The Sieg Heil salutes, arms outstretched,
The monkey chants and banana skin threats,
But you stood firm Paul, you would not fall,
Poised and ready to move to the ball,
One hand open, one hand clenched,
Eyes scanning the game and the football pitch,
Changing the future and finding the past,
By catching the wind of the racialists’ blast,
And catching it there right in your fine hands,
And blowing it high, right over the stands,
And changing the future and finding the past,
Ensuring injustice cannot ever-last,
And catching it there right in your fine hands,
And blowing it high, right over the stands,
And changing the future and finding the past,
Ensuring injustice cannot ever-last –
For tomorrow no longer belongs to them,
It now belongs to us all. Thank you, Paul.

For Black History Month and Westminster C.C. and Chelsea F.C. and Paul Cannoville – the first black Chelsea first team player.

Source: http://footballpoets.org/poems/thanks-paul-for-paul-cannoville/