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THE GHOST OF SELHURST PARK.

1 Leave a comment on verse 1 0 In the Old Stand at Crystal Palace,
in the ground of Selhurst Park,
a haunting figure shows himself,
mostly after dark.

2 Leave a comment on verse 2 0 He’s a sad and forlorn figure,
standing six feet tall,
he’s been seen in the trainers office,
in the club-house and the hall.

3 Leave a comment on verse 3 0 Some say it’s the curse of Roland Markham,
who went by the name Ro-Mark,
he fell out with Malcolm Allison,
and put a curse on Selhurt Park.

4 Leave a comment on verse 4 0 But older fans will tell you,
that the Romark tale is silly,
as they tell the sad, sad story,
of the Palace ghost ‘ Wor Billy’.

5 Leave a comment on verse 5 0 Billy Callender was born near Newcastle,
two years after Queen Vic died,
and in the early 1920’s,
he joined the Palace side.

6 Leave a comment on verse 6 0 A tall and agile keeper,
who wore the shirt with pride,
he soon met Eva Leslie,
and she became his bride.

7 Leave a comment on verse 7 0 You’d see them everywhere together,
always hand in hand,
and she’d cheer him on, home and away,
from her seat up in the stand.

8 Leave a comment on verse 8 0 Established as first choice,
and a favourite of the crowd,
Billy felt like a man in heaven,
floating on a cloud.

9 Leave a comment on verse 9 0 ‘Twas in early 1930,
as the team walked off to boos,
‘Wor Billy’ was gently pulled aside,
and told some tragic news.

10 Leave a comment on verse 10 0 Along with the loss to Brentford,
it was six – nil to the Bees,
he was informed that his dear wife Eva,
had an incurable disease.

11 Leave a comment on verse 11 0 Billy stayed devoted,
you’d see him pushing her wheel-chair,
he’d wheel her to home matches,
and to the seaside for fresh air.

12 Leave a comment on verse 12 0 Then in May of 32,
Billy was overcome with grief,
when Eva passed away,
in their home in Thornton Heath.

13 Leave a comment on verse 13 0 ‘Wor Billy’ showed for training,
but he’d lost interest, in his life,
the only time he spoke,
was to tell fond stories of his wife.

14 Leave a comment on verse 14 0 He left training then one Monday,
but to his digs did not return,
and when his landlady informed the club,
they all became concerned.

15 Leave a comment on verse 15 0 It was the Palace trainer who had the task,
of breaking the sad news to the team,
cos it was him who found ‘Wor Billy’
hanging from a beam.

16 Leave a comment on verse 16 0 It was in the Palace Boardroom,
that Billy Callender took his life,
a crumpled note beside him,
saying he was gone to join his wife.

17 Leave a comment on verse 17 0 Thousands lined the streets,
when they drove Billy to his grave,
the orphan boy from Prudhoe,
had made his final save.

18 Leave a comment on verse 18 0 His ghost appeared at Selhurst,
almost one year from the day,
the air got cold, he walked around,
but words he did not say.

19 Leave a comment on verse 19 0 So if you’re ever in the Old Stand,
and you feel the air turn chilly,
don’t be too alarmed,
it’s just the ghost of our ‘Wor Billy’.

8

Notes

Billy (William) Callender 1903-1932

JJO Oct 03

Source: http://footballpoets.org/poems/the-ghost-of-selhurst-park/