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The Story of Vivian Woodward- Football’s Gentleman

1 Leave a comment on verse 1 0 The Story of Vivian Woodward
Football’s Gentleman

2 Leave a comment on verse 2 0 In his first game for England in 1902
To celebrate the two goals he scored.
His proud brother sent him a telegram
Amongst the hundreds of tributes that poured.

3 Leave a comment on verse 3 0 Vivian played for Tottenham Hotspurs
Between the years 1903 and 1909.
Gaining them a place in the Football League,
Playing himself, for England, more times.

4 Leave a comment on verse 4 0 A proud year for Vivian was 1908
When a well-earned gold medal was claimed.
He was captain of the winning team,
At London’s first Olympic Games.

5 Leave a comment on verse 5 0 In 1909, with a great career,
Admiration and fame stretching far.
Deciding to sign for another club,
He joined Chelsea and became their new star.

6 Leave a comment on verse 6 0 At the Stockholm Olympics in 1912,
Vivian carried the British flag.
Winning for England another gold,
Putting victory now in the bag.

7 Leave a comment on verse 7 0 Vivian played in the first Chelsea team,
To beat Aston Villa in 1913.
So, whenever he was free to play,
He was first choice for the team.

8 Leave a comment on verse 8 0 Vivian joined the Middlesex Regiment,
When war broke out in 1914.
Known as the ‘Footballer’s Battalion’,
Nicknamed ‘Diehards, a footballers dream.

9 Leave a comment on verse 9 0 The ‘Diehard’ squad grew bigger,
Joining Vivian in the team.
Among them was his friend Walter Tull,
One of the first black footballers in Britain he’d been.

10 Leave a comment on verse 10 0 Vivian, now an officer in the army,
It’s the year of 1915,
Was later followed by his friend Walter Tull,
The first black Officer the British Army had seen.

11 Leave a comment on verse 11 0 April 1915, an historic date,
Chelsea’s playing was quite sublime.
A chance to win football’s most coveted prize
The F.A. cup, in the final, first time.

12 Leave a comment on verse 12 0 With leave arranged from the army,
Vivian unselfishly and full of good grace,
Dropped from the final against Sheffield United
For a teammate to win a medal in his place.

13 Leave a comment on verse 13 0 Just shortly after the final,
Vivian’s last game at Chelsea was seen.
He was sent to fight at the front in France,
Seriously wounded in 1916.

14 Leave a comment on verse 14 0 For Chelsea and England, a very sad day,
In the year of 1954.
A great goal scorer and ‘Footballer’s Gentleman’,
Vivian died at age seventy-four.

15 Leave a comment on verse 15 0 Vivian Woodward will always remain
‘Centre Forward’ of his day.
‘The Gentleman Player’, remembered with pride
For the great sport he chose to play.

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Notes

I worked on this poem for a reading project with Chelsea FC and Pete at Westminster Archives told me that it may be able to be put on this site.

Source: http://footballpoets.org/poems/the-story-of-vivian-woodward-footballs-gentleman/