The Legend That Is St John RIP

1 Leave a comment on verse 1 0 looking back
I realize I had the fortune
to see the legend that is St John
play many times
usually at ‘The Bridge’
but only ever once stood
on that fabled Kop
and that was by mistake

2 Leave a comment on verse 2 0 it happened
one auspicious Bank Holiday
when my good mate John and I
who’d hitched up from London
in snow and cold
having gone in in by the wrong gate*
found ourselves to be
the only two Blues fans
perched in that towering end

3 Leave a comment on verse 3 0 but so it was
and setting off early morning
from that misty M1 laybye
and taking in friendly drivers
and icy motorways
we made it just in time
for the Anfield clash with Chelsea
that freezing Boxing Day in 66

4 Leave a comment on verse 4 0 but what a welcome from Liverpool fans
for us and our ‘keeper Bonetti
and then it started the rhythmic clapping
“clap clap clap clap
clap clap -clap clap St John!”
and so it swelled around the ground
until linked with stamped feet to keep out the chill
it enveloped you totally

5 Leave a comment on verse 5 0 even if you followed another side
there was a jaunty and unmistakable
swagger and impishness about Ian
passion style and grit
but like Greavesie
his TV pundit partner to be
always a smile when he played

6 Leave a comment on verse 6 0 what a player and character though
“you mustn’t take yourself too seriously”
he once said
but when you played against him
St John was some handful
and you needed to be on your toes
because…relentless and creative
he’d flit in and out all game
like some annoying wasp

7 Leave a comment on verse 7 0 he was awesome as ever that day for the Reds
we’d gone up hoping to tie in a Cavern visit
but closed for the holidays it wasn’t to be
but the Mersey sound that filled our ears that day
She Loves You… Ee Aye Addio O and the rest
bellowed down from the mighty Kop
and we in our blue and white knitted scarves
were fair fodder and shared mince pies from
the ‘Pool fans amid their Christmas bonhomie

8 Leave a comment on verse 8 0 and when you stopped
I grew to love your often infuriating
but mad Saint & Greavesie show
you will be long missed Ian
an integral part of a great team in a great time



Ian St John RIP (1938-2021)

*’The Wrong End Of Life’ for those interested, is another poem which also appears on this site, written some years back about that day).

Source: http://footballpoets.org/poems/the-legend-st-john/