Womens’ Euro 2005 Poems ? Dick Kerr Ladies? Football Poetry Workshops?

.WELCOME TO CRISPIN’S CORNER firstly as you’ve been asking…….
contact Crispin crispin@ctmuk.freeserve.co.uk tel 01453 757376 write:Crispin Thomas 4 The Retreat Butterow Stroud Glos.GL5 2LS
and scroll down to 7 & 8 (section following the 6 poems below..).
meanwhile ….six recent poems here….
I’ve included my poem on The Dick Kerr’s Ladies Team to co-incide with the Women’s Euro 2005 currently taking place here……..so HOW ABOUT SOME WOMEN’S EURO 2005 POEMS GUYS??..
1-6 (Recent Poems)
1 Lily Parr & The Dick Kerr Ladies Team 1916
2.The Ecological Footballer 3.The White Horse Final
4Upon The Hands Of Fans
5.Peter Sillett Where Are You?
6 Looking At A Photograph of 1955
7 Stuff about Football Poetry Workshops
8. Children’s Workshop Poems
1Lily Parr & The Dick Kerr Ladies

t’was no-one quite like Lily Parr
up North in rugby land
when footie was a cissie game
but fans still crammed the stand
and crowds of fifty thousand
were more than common-place
they came in curiosity
but not to see her face

they flocked in awe to wonder at
young women in the war
and cries of “get ’em off love”
rang loud when they did score
for back in nineteen seventeen
they’d come from near and far
to see the Dick Kerr Ladies team
led by young Lily Parr

no softy touch nor bit of stuff
a Woodbine on her lips
exceptional left footed skill
deceptive swerving hips
nine hundred goals in all she scored
for England and the girls
St Helen’s born she learned her trade
and stunned the football world

those Sundays when the pubs turned out
on streets and fields of stone
against those sturdy drunken lads
our Lily held her own
and in munitions factories
with pride they’d speak her name
an England captain well deserved
and icon for the game

and fans recall a moment when
they waited patiently
a cow-pat by the corner flag
caused much hilarity
but Lily took it in her stride
and in her face that day
of all who filled that Dick Kerr side
young Lily led the way

they flocked in awe to wonder then
so many years ago
to keep alive the game they loved
whilst war was raging so
for back in nineteen seventeen
they’d come from near and far
to see the Dick Kerr Ladies team
led by young Lily Parr

© CT05
About Dick, Kerr Ladies 1921
During World War I when women were thrown into traditional male roles at home, at work and on the sports field. Nowhere was this gender shift more apparent than at a Preston factory owned by two Scots, WB Dick and John Kerr.By 1917, women had taken over the once male-dominated factory and were routinely hauling heavy loads and operating dangerous machinery: After challenging the men to an inter-factory football match, they set up Dick, Kerr Ladies – the team played matches to raise money for war charities devoted to ex-servicemen and made £600 in their first game on Christmas Day, 1917. Within three years, over 53,000 fans were watching them play St Helen’s Ladies at Goodison Park. Dick, Kerr Ladies played abroad as well, and enjoyed successful trips to France and Holland, where they were greeted like superstars. in 1921, the Dick, Kerr Ladies toured North America in 1922.The team were the first blend of marketing and football.


I’m sometimes quite illogical
I’ve been called mythological
I’ve got more geological
through playing distant teams
I’m getting technological
perhaps its psychological
but as for ecological
I’m not sure what that means?

extravagance and decadence
I love it and make no pretence
nor argue in my own defence
on how we treat this place
around the ground inside the gate
along the streets we desecrate
the stuff we fans and clubs create
it swamps our towns with waste

but someone told me long ago
and yes it moved me ever so
the world’s a football don’t you know
and we are merely goals
but while we’re here we ought to try
to think of others coming by
the future’s bright but always nigh
consider other souls

on any football Saturdays
in any town so many ways
exist to just respect the place
this planet and its home
its flora fauna insect life
each species struggling to survive
in pubs or watching footie live
just treat it as your own

and call it astrological
or even biological
you could be zoological
there’s so much you can do
but don’t act pathological
and not too chronological
but please be ecological
the game needs more like you!

@Crispin Thomas May 2005


Like Pegasus before him
or long gone fairy tales
the images and memories
to this day still prevails
the twenty eighth of April
in nineteen twenty three
mid scenes of pandemonium
they opened Wembley

the crowds they swarmed the turnstiles
all in their thousands drawn
in joy and expectation
the day this home was born
for Bolton and the Hammers
a mighty final tie
but for those still among us
a glint still lights up the eye

a stadium full to bursting
a sea of fans and sound
a touchline of supporters stretched
around that heaving ground
with chaos in that mighty bowl
one figure loomed so high
as PC Storey’s snow white steed
came gently trotting by

though other men on horseback
all played their vital part
it’s that white horse named Billy
that’s etched in ev’ry heart
whose gentle nudging moved them back
until the pitch was clear
the rest is steeped in history
though numbers are unclear

they say two hundred thousand
swept right across that field
though figures may remain unknown
a hero was revealed
and when that joyous Bolton side
stepped up to claim their crown
still Billy stood triumphant
to calm the thousands down

some eighty years and more have passed
those towers they have gone
but with the new the memory
of that day will go on
and when we walk across that bridge
one picture still remains
to long remind the future
the day that white horse reigned

© Crispin Thomas May 05

The new bridge leading toWembley Stadium “The White Horse Bridge”.In April 1923 the stadium originally opend for the Bolton v West Ham United Cup Final .Bolton won 2-0.The game was delayed some 45 minutes in all until PC Storey and Billy,that famous proud white horse finally restored some order.An estimated 200-250,000 got into a ground with a capacity of 120,000.



upon this mighty sea I sail
so young and wild and free
in endless waves like goalie saves
these arms stretch out for me –
no child on Earth could ere describe
this feeling deep inside
at three foot tall so frail and small
above these heads I glide

so gently passed from man to man
they lift me to and fro
like cans on some conveyor belt
as to the field I go –
to watch in awe along the track
my heroes chase and pass
no man between myself and team
beside this hallowed grass

a hill of caps and raincoats
this terrace made of stone
this childhood haunt this ground of dreams
this ancient football home –
all on this mighty sea of life
I’ve touched on many lands
but still recall those moments passed
upon the hands of fans

© Crispin Thomas May 05

“Scuse me mister – I can’t see – can you lift me up please?!”
As a small child in 60,000 standing crowds long ago…the thrill of being hoisted madly down to the pitch and to not be chucked out when you got there-magic!


I remember that Saturday like yesterday
the steaming summer of ’58
August in London and sweltering

“stand clear of the doors”
“all change for Fulham Broadway”
“official programme sixpence a go”
“wear your colour”
“roasted peanuts ‘tanner’ a bag!”
stopping to gaze at star badges
of Sillett Blunstone and Greaves in plastic and blue

big game nerves expectant and high
the Wolves were in town
as bearing down on Stamford Bridge
those weaving teeming crowds
all noisy and short-sleeved in the Fulham Road

in the distance floodlight pylons
tower and loom on blue blue sky
while sun sparkles on concrete old and open
ninepence for kids one and six for adults
but wait what’s this sold out and heaving!!
you said let’s try bunking in
and we did between the legs in turnstile mayhem

and soon nervous and torn clutching melting lollies
and passed down the front
we sat on that dog-track
62,000 behind us baying swaying
and do you remember the score?
six-two a blue and gold blur
of goals and cheers

young Jimmy rampant as that crested lion
Billy Wright chasing shadows
you with two ribbons to a wooden rattle stapled
and me in my rough striped scarf
that mum had sat up half the night
embroidering strange names upon
but i wore it in the heat anyway
and later in the street
on neighours walls with chalk for goalposts
between the ice cream van and the pavement
we lived it through again and again and again
and never knew that to this day we always would

© Crispin Thomas 2001

10 yrs old ..helsea 6 Wolves (Greaves 5,) Att:62,116.


looking at a photograph from nineteen fifty five
these children on the dog-track the dawning of a life
these children on the touch-line their rattles and their cheers
while urging surging crowds behind all bellow in their ears

such youthful expectation captured here in time
all under wooden scoreboards and ancient Bovril signs
but where are all these children now looking back I know
at photographs and moments that haunt and linger so

where sixty thousand faces gaze upon this printed page
in blackened grains they stretch & strain yet never ever age
along the years and struggles and dreams they’d one day be
as proud of their own team as then when they were young & free

looking at a photograph of fifty more years on
at something here unchanging though kids & ground have gone
this special magic something which no-one can explain
that never fades and still pervades this simple people’s game

© Crispin Thomas April 20th O5

Written on a Supersaver serviette on the way to Charlton Athletic for a Sam Bartram workshop on the train from Stroud…looking at old pics.of Charlton and Chelsea,..but could have been many a hallowed ground back way back then….

Calling anybody with the space and time
calling in football calling in rhyme
Study Centres Festivals Libraries and Schools
Community Centres there are no rules
anywhere you want us if the feeling is there
we’re writing it rhyming it everywhere
and we go where we like from the village to the town
Village Halls, Museums, rhyming it around..

The Footbal Poets have undertaken recent workshops in Hull, Bradford, Stroud, Liverpool (Everton Study Centre), London(Libraries & Chelsea FC), Charlton Athletic and even Brockworth!
If you would like to find out more about Football Poetry Workshops, be it on the love of the game and football history to racism..
There are 4-5 Football Poets currently available solo or in couplets
including myself! For further Info contact Crispin Thomas on
e-mail: editors@footbalpoets.org
telephone : 01453 757376
write to:The Football Poets 4 The Retreat, Stroud Glos.GL5 2LS

football poets on the road

we’re just football poets with our hips and our hops
and we’re using this space to mention workshops
it might sound silly but we’re not so proud
no point whispering it say it out loud
one thing reaches one thing connects
deeper than an e-mail clearer than a text
think about the reason think about why
football makes you happy football makes you cry
it might sound blatant selling our wares
advertising something but hey who cares
the message is growing no-one can deny
poetry’s a way and it’s often worth a try
we can’t change the planet but we like to get through
and we love doing workshops from Stroud to Crewe!


A selection of children’s poems from the most recent London & Liverpool (Everton ) January 2005 workshop sessions.

A FEW POEMS from Primary Schools in Liverpool.


My world is different yes it’s true

You are a colour and I’m one too

Why do people shout and fight?

Only because it’s not right

Racism must be stopped

If its not we’ll all be lost

Don’t be mean or act all hard

Because we’re trying to show racism the red card.

@Aaliyah McGuinness – St Hughs’


Racism is so not cool

At the ground or at your school

Colour doesn’t mean anything

If you’re poor or covered in bling

Stop racism today –

Make it happen today.

@Aimen Maksoud and Jamie McLoughlin – St Hughs’,Liverpool


My world is like a football game,

You may be different but we’re all the same,

Why do people die and cry?

Over colour tell me why?

Racism is quite sad,

I feel that it is really bad

Don’t call people black or white.

@Amina Abdullah – St Hughs’,Liverpool


Racism’s not welcome here

At your school or anywhere

‘Cause we are so very cool

In this place in Liverpool

Some people come from different lands

Make this WHOLE WORLD understand!

Linda Kunz & Julie Kavanagh – St Hughs’,Liverpool


scared and frightened

How would you feel if other people bullied you

whether you are black or white

Racism is not the solution

as you see they will never win

can we show racism the door?

It’s time for us to say no more

Some people need to learn more

about what racism can do –

today we will find out how Every one is different

red black or blue

yet everyone is the same

don’t be a fool – cant you see

all of us hate Racism

don’t give in

By Khwezi Newanyana and Anne Murphy – St Hughs’,Liverpool

with Crispin Thomas & Rosemary Dun (Football Poets)

The Football Poets joined Roy Bentley(Chelsea captain 1954/55!) to run workshops with school-children from 15 schools at Stamford Bridge all week about Roy’s life.We had a fantastic 4 days seeing a total of between 350-400 kids who were bemused,and then enthused, by the spectacle and sound which is football poetry.SKY TV caught a flavour of ‘footie- poetry’ when they featured us dancing and rapping with Roy on ‘Soccer Saturday’ on SKY TV .

A FEW CHILDREN’S POEMS…from Stamford Bridge.London)


win lose draw or score
taking goal-kicks from the floor
Bentley then now it’s Lampard
players today are mainly pampered
the difference between old and new
whether you’re red or whether you’re blue

turf has changed from time to time
it’s only a goal if it crosses the line
then as now the dream is Wembley
whether you’re Henri or whether you’re Bentley
from playing to the changing room
then as now still ‘va-va-voom’
old stadia new stadia all the same
football is the beautiful game
and whether you volley or whether you shoot
it’s better done with nice clean boots

we are the famous C.F.C
we are going to win the league
just the same as our friend Roy
play your football for the joy!

@St Vincent de Paul – 18.01.05
ROY BENTLEY (Acrostic) l

Right at the start of World War Two
Our Roy swapped his boots to help out the zoo
Yes he is a football star
But first he had to go to war
Even though he had skill and style
Never had a fancy mobile
Times have moved on since that day
Lives have changed in so many ways
Everyone loves to watch him play
You wonder what he’d do today?

@St James & St Michael’s 18.01.05
ROY BENTLEY (Acrostic)

R oyal Blue was the colour you wore
O fficial striker who would always score
Y esterday your honour was shining
B ut even today we need no reminding
E nding your playing might be rough
N ever mind Roy you’re still as tough
T imes might change but you’re still here
L oyal throughout your Chelsea career
E verybody remembers you
Y ou played with spirit through and through.

@St Gabriel’s – 18.01.05
———————————————————————————-CHELSEA TIMES

in the days of ‘Gently Bentley’
Roy led his players on the pitch
where the ball all heavy and muddy
knocked poor Roy out for a six

he’s a great model
and has lots of skill
he does it on pure talent
no need for drugs or pills

Chelsea the almighty ‘Blues’
better even than Pelé
we have never seen them lose
and they’re good on ‘telly’

in Roy’s day ‘W-M’
now it’s 4-4-2
they have never let us down
nor the colour blue

even though things have changed
they’re better on the whole
why was record sprinter Wharton
left to stand in goal?

@St Gabriel’s – 18.01.05

whatever happened to the Beautiful Game?
are Man United then to blame?
in the days of Gently Bentley
was the game then much more friendly?
we’re talking ’ bout then then then
we’re talking ’ bout then then then

when they didn’t have a cup
when they didn’t earn that much
was the game more friendly when
boots were hard were they more men?
when boots were hard hard hard
they had no yellow card card card

nowadays players earn much more
they think they don’t have to obey the law
is it right that they all score?
instead of girls girls girls
we’re talking bout girls girls girls

now and then Chelsea might win
even though they’re covered in bling
football today is bling bling bling
that’s not Roy Bentley’s thing thing thing
‘cause he’s the champ and he’s Chelsea’s King king king
we’re talking ’ bout the king king king

@St Peter’s,Eaton Square – 18.01.05
at the time of Roy Bentley
he kicked the ball but not too gently
he started playing when he was seven
the rest of the team were all eleven
it wasn’t all that hard to train
he was always running in the rain
Bristol Rovers saw him play
and asked him for a trial that day
he hurt himself by heading a ball
and ended up in a hospital
such a difference now and then
we’re never going back again
playing at Chelsea’s football ground
he came far since his first pound
the Chelsea players are the best
they can easily beat the rest
he passed evry football test
they remember Bentley’s vest
when Roy scored they roared like mad
the other team were really sad
scoring goals all day long
we know Chelsea never go wrong!

@St Peter’s (H & F) – 19.01.05


Roy played football in the war
Marbles in bottles hard footballs
Sometimes good sometimes bad
Roy played footie as a lad
With two drunks he climbed the wall
Most days he didn’t pay at all
A hundred thousand stood in the Shed
When Moscow came they had a big head
The Dynamos did new football tapping
As the crowd carried on clapping
Today they’d all be rapping along
Back then they had chants and songs

@St Mathews

If Roy was playing for Chelsea again
he wouldn’t have to wear heavy boots like then
back in those days it wasn’t too funny
playing football for not much money
in those days the balls were hard
no such thing as a yellow card
so many people stood in the crowd
now it’s seats but it’s still as loud
advertsing boards and a megastore
now it’s better than before

@St Mathews

On the field like David Beckham
off the pitch he’s a gentleman
It was fifty years ago
Chelsea won the league Roy scored the goal
Players today get 90 K
back then eight quid was his pay
Tell yourself that you’re the best
Just don’t go telling anyone else
If you’re number one it’s still a team game
If you’re not it’s a crying shame



way way back in the olden days
he was a real celebrity
the game has changed in so many ways
the name of the man is Roy Bentley

the ‘Denis The Menace’ of his time
although he’s older he still shines
he played in front of mighty crowds
thank you Roy you made us proud


Roy had a choice
he could have done them all
cricket boxing
or football

England v Scotland
two hundred thousand in the crowd
so many there
all cheering loud

you’ve got to love it
scoring a goal
helps to keep Chelsea
on a roll

Roy didn’t like
not being picked
lived to be out there
in his football kit

from feeding giraffes
on the football ground
you can feel the atmosphere
buzzing all around

pick the team
you love the best
Chelsea’s better
than all the rest

@Barrow Hill

R un like a rabbit that’s what he said
O valtine before you go to bed
Y esterday he was fit and strong
B ut Roy can still kick all day long
E ven though he’s nearly eighty-one
N o-one will forget what he’s done
T op of the league in fifty-five
L oving your job will keep you alive
E verywhere and everyone
Y ou can still be number one

@Burdett Coutts
by Crispin & Rosemary…

1.IN THE CHANGING ROOM by Crispin Thomas
2.DOWN THE PARK (Kicking It!) by Rosemary Dun
3.WELL DONE ROY by Crispin Thomas

1.IN THE CHANGING ROOM by Crispin Thomas

this is the place where the pounding will begin
the space where the head and the heart start to spin
can you just imagine what’s going on within
in the changing room

here on the eve of a mighty mighty game
energy is soaring now pouring down like rain
building up pumping up it’s always the same
in the changing room

squad shirts gleaming lined up on the wall
massage tables ice buckets waiting for the call
i’d love to be invisible a fly upon the wall
in the changing room

these are the moments where there’s no going back
last minute changes to strengthen the attack
passion and commitment is something you can’t lack
in the changing room

out there the atmosphere is reaching to the sky
deep breaths and focusing no matter how you try
clock on the wall shows the seconds ticking by
in the changing room

adrenalin the will to win anticipation
stay bold and up-hold your reputation
camp mood is shifting now lifting expectation
in the changing room

ref calls the captains to brief them on the plan
take heed or he’ll be as ruthless as he can
the message to the players is to take it like a man
in the changing room

seemed so long now its finally here
quarter to three now the moment’s drawing near
tunnel lies waiting for the brave to appear
from the changing room

manager’s last words on holding your position
crocodile of tight smiles eyes the opposition
some touch club signs call it superstition
in the changing room

later when it’s over and the game’s long gone
soaking up the after-glow the feelings coming on
sheer delight or putting right the places you went wrong
in the changing room

ground all empty now crowd’s heading home
still around winding down sitting on your own
so strange this game it’s all I’ve ever known
in the changing room

@Crispin Thomas Jan 21 2005.Stamford Bridge


DOWN THE PARK (Kicking It!) by Rosemary Dun

Kicking it up against the wall

Kicking it up against the wall

Pass the ball games in our street

Knock out ginger, time for tea.

Running madly after dark

Playing football in the park.

Kicking it up against the wall

Kicking it up against the wall

Mind your manners, thank you, please,

Charge about with scabby knees

When I’m big I’ll own a car

Swerve and score like Bobby Moore.

Kicking it up against the wall

Kicking it up against the wall

Touch, you’re it, can’t catch me

British bulldog, climbing trees

Be a Man. U. football star

Wanna be a footballer.

Kicking it up against a wall

Kicking it up against a wall

On me ‘ead, quick pass to me

You’re a rubbish referee

Coats for goalposts it’s a lark

Playing football in the park.

Kicking it up against a wall

Kicking it up against a wall.

@Rosemary Dun © 2005


WELL DONE ROY! by Crispin Thomas

born into a different world – the Spring of twenty four

you were barely starting on the path

but down at Bristol Rovers at the outbreak of the war

you ended up just nursing the giraffe! **

but destiny was waiting as they flocked to Stamford Bridge

the day that Moscow Dynamo hit town

you were locked out with the crowd but like many on that day

you found your way inside that heaving ground ***

and barely three years later in the year of forty eight

you yourself were signing for the Blues

your talent so apparent you had passion style and skill

and a spirit born of nothing left to lose –

it was cloth caps and Bovril where forty thousand stood

upon that bank in fog and sleet and snow

it was long shorts and Brylcreem you got fifteen pounds a week

and the People’s Game had very far to go

from constant jokes in music halls you led us to such heights

among the mighty outfits of that age

the Wolves and Man Uniteds to the Arsenals and North Ends

you blazed your name and club upon the page –

from cartoon strips of ducklings – from ‘pensioners’ to champs

I recall the headlines still with glee

for on that day in April when they swarmed across the field

you stood up in that stand for all to see

and fifty years has passed now since that golden moment when

you led your team to win the league that day

your prowess as a captain is still etched in history

the spills the thrills the goals along the way-

those magic games for England with your heroes

but still you wore that royal blue with pride

and still you set examples for the future Chelsea babes

you’d always start in any all-time side –

and few would know the day you claimed that title

you’d set the wheels in motion like a toy

may the memories all be glad for there’s little more to add

except this simple thank you – well done Roy!

@Crispin Thomas Jan 2004

*at the outbreak of war, Bristol Zoo animals ,were cared for at Eastville(home of Bristol Rovers) and a young Roy Bentley was put in charge of the giraffe!

**Not yet a Chelsea player- Roy bunked in with thousands to an olready crammed stadium.

What Is The Price Of Racism (£420?)-Crispin Thomas
2 Kicking It Out With The Football Poets In London
(summary of recent Education Work at Chelsea FC Oct & Dec 04 )

1,What Is The Price Of Racism (£420?)

what is the price of racism
and what price for this monkey sound
what worthy fine for this act at this time
just give or take four hundred pounds

and what message now are they sending
when will they open their eyes
when will we ALL kick this hate to the wall
and when will we ALL realise

for this is no mere “misdemeanour”
this is no “minor” display
when a ref has to choose to stop games for abuse
to plead calm from some distant PA

they say when you take one step forward
you can also take two more steps back
and in some parts it’s true – if you’re red white or blue
it’s ok – but it’s not if you’re black

we can all give and take criticism
we don’t like it but some times it’s true
but if we’re to evolve – it’s a problem to solve
so what else in this world can we do?

it’s the lowest of lowest behaviours
and in silence we all play a hand
but together we’re strong- we must stand and go on
til we banish this hate from each land

@Crispin January 05

Author’s Note..
Welcome to Racism in Football in 2005. Real Madrid v Atletico Madrid . Reak were fined the equivalent of £420 for their fans outrageous behaviour in the Bernabeau Stadium.This was the amount deemed appropriate for the “minor misdemeanour” levied by the Spanish FA for the horrendous racial abuse from Atletico Madrid fans aimed primarily at Roberto Carlos during thet game . Real Madrid. At one point, ref Perez Burrell, stopped the game and had an announcement made over the PA asking the fans – “to stop imitatiing the sound a monkey makes when certain players were on the ball” . For more info, go to :


www.kickitout.org & www.srtrc.org

Kicking It Out With The Football Poets In London +
Summary of recent Education Work at Chelsea FC Oct & Dec 04



If Arthur was alive
He would’ve loved it
He’d have loved every bit

He didn’t get a chance
When the England players were chosen THEN
He didn’t get a glance

It’s the World Cup 2002
England opener against Sweden

The first time ever, we saw this sight,
There were six players black and five players white.

First there’s Rio
King of the trio

Then come Dyer
As fast as fire
We all love Cole
Who makes the goals

The striker Heskey
Comes to the recue

In the centre Sinclair
Every game he’s there.

But when we got the goal
It was down to Sol

Arthur would have been so proud
Would love to be sitting in the crowd.

-Rayhan Uddin, St. Augustines


Plus Chelsea FC Education through Football/Kick it out Campaign
‘Making a Difference’ Review by PETER DANIELS

As part of the Chelsea FC Education though Football programme, children from 17 Westminster Primary schools have been looking at the lives of two black footballers during ‘Kick it Out’ week. Westminster Archives Education Officer, Peter Daniel ran sessions in all of the schools on two players, Arthur Wharton and Paul Canoville. Arthur was the first black footballer in Britain, but first became famous when he set a new world record for the 100 yard dash at Stamford Bridge in 1886. This was nearly 20 years before football came to the ground in 1905. The children were then taken forward nearly a hundred years to the 12th April 1982 to hear the story of Chelsea’s first black player, Paul Canoville and his debut at Crystal Palace. Both players faced quite shocking prejudice and discrimination but in the way they triumphed over adversity they helped to ‘make a difference’ for every black player that followed them.

To celebrate Arthur and Paul’s lives, children were given the chance to come to Pimlico Library on Saturday 9th October and Paddington Children’s Library on the 16th October and given the opportunity to work with the Football Poets. Crispin Thomas, Ted Smith-Orr and Elliott ‘EllJay’ Joseph. They helped to inspire the kids to write poetry and they then had a chance to sit down with artist Marysia Lachowicz to incorporate these words into ‘pop-art’ style posters featuring the images of the two players concerned. On 4th November one child from each school will be attending a poetry slam at the Cockpit Theatre, London NW8 so that we can find Chelsea’s champion poem from ‘Kick it Out’ week.


(Edgware Rd,Paddington & Pimlico)

EDGWARE RD Church St Library-Tues Oct 19th
North Westminster Community School.

First up my personal faves of the Edgware Rd Football Poetry Kick It Out/Making A Difference session..easily the toughest session .. 35 kids- small room..noise levels at football stadium proportions…interesting for a library! (.probably not helped by my introducing the casio- rap vibe! ..but it raised the energy levels and a few teachers eyes!) The first ones are by students who not only produced spontaneous raps, but also had the nerve to got up and read them with gusto in front of their mates..not easy with street-cred and goody-goody quips like “Wannabee” rife! Check out some of their unusual street-term rhymes, phrases and words.i’m now enlightened..on ‘macks’ and ‘mini-coops’!.


His name is Pele
He was strong
With his play
He proved them wrong
They threw bananas and other fruits
But they couldn’t riuin his mini-coop!

What he had – they couldn’t take
His heart – his soul just would not break

Everyone hated him because he was black
But he never believed in being a ‘mack’

Adham Mohammed -9M4 NWC School


Every Single Day – Paul Canoville

Paul Canoville
Could’ve been very ill
By horrible racist comments
He couldn’t even find a place to rent.
Being foulded all over the pitch
Just because of his black race –
The Chelsea manager would hardly let him play
But Paul stood his ground every single day
Throwing bananas at Paul Canoville
He could’ve been very ill

Kofi 7MS MWC



Wake up wake up – I hear your name
Racism is not allowed in our game
In come the players all white and bold
Giving it al’ that’s what i’ve been told
Hate is not hte answer – only love can conquer all
Tell me how to change things – and i will make the call..

Arman/MS Jackson Brown


one two is my name
and i don’t give no shame
my name’s Henry
and I play my game

some people say
that i lead the way
i’m a role model
for black people today

Mickey 7MS NWC School
SOL -Rap

Sol Campbell has got a great head
He’s the best defender – everybody said
He defends the players from the other team
The fans chant racism they’re so mean –

When he has the ball he clears it away
The fans go mad they’ve got loads to say
Although they are racist Sol don’t care
Portugal cheated in the Euros but we are fair!

Kelly –

Couldn’t play any better
Had to keep going
Even in bad weather
Laugh at the people who try tot put them down
Say back to them “No racism in this town”
Everyday we play again
And then we try and win win win!

Mohammed 9 MI NWC School

Edgar David-Acrostic

Everyone hates me because I’m black
Don’t you dare cuss me
Go quickly before you get beat
Anyway I’m the best
Ronaldo always thinks he’s better
Do you really wanna be a champion
Alwayspeople boo at me
Victory is my aim
I’m ther strongest in my team
David – David go for it!


HENRY – Acrostic

Henry plays for France and Arsenal
Everytime he plays he has the ball
Never loses it
Rooney can never defeat Henry not even
You can!

Hannah Walsh 7M5


CARLOS – Acrostic (Roberto)

Come and play
And we are just one
Respect football it is fun
Like music
Over and over again
Stars are playing

Aicha Gasmi

Henry -Acrostic

Henry tries his best
Even though people are booing
No-one likes Henry because he’s black
Running fast he scores

Jowana NWC


Jowana -Acrostic (On Playing Women’s Soccer)

Jowana’s the best
Owen tires to win it from me
Will you win the match?
An alien can’t even win it from me!
No-one likes me…but
A goal is shot by Jowana!

Jowana NWC


COLE- (Andy) Acrostic

Cole plays for England and Arsenal
On the pitch he’s a star
Loser the crowd yells
Even when he scores.

Baharak NWC


PADDINGTON Library Sat Oct 16 2004.

The King

Today you wear a golden crown on your head
BUT back in 1982 it was a banana skin,
Your family come from Jamaica
Red, yellow, green, blue, orange
Are the colours that represent you.
You got the “arm”
From your own loyal fans!?
But some Paul cheered you on!
You even got a goal now you’re a role model for the future
Now you’re our King!!

-Mayran Barrow Hill Primary School
The First Black Chelsea Player

The first black Chelsea player
And he was very good

A fast running striker
With a flair for scoring goals

But the fans, arms outstreched
The monkey chants and banana skin threats, but he didn’t care

And he became a hero
The True Blue Wonder

Out of Windrush
His family came from Jamaica

Shivering outside in the freezing cold
While they were looking for a room

Knocking on the doors and ringing the bells
But behind the big net curtains eyes of hate

The knew about no smoking and fog

-Riyadh Reiad
Barrow Hill Junior


Luther Blissett
Wow man
You couldn’t kiss it

He used to score goals for Watford
Then he played for England
And then he played abroad

Inter Milan signed him up
The San Siro became his stage
But shucks he never won a cup

One of the best footballers in England
When he retired
He joined an anarchist band

John Hughes Westminster Libraries!

And Now Some ‘Acrostics’ …

Paul Canoville – acrostic

Playing for Chelsea, being so brave,
At least you scored before your grave
Ugly fans as can be
Leaped from their seats and swore at me

Carrying a bag full of racist words
Always seeing ugly nerds
Never listening to the fans
Over the huge scrawny stands
Very confident on the pitch
Imaginative with football tricks
Leaving the racists right behind
Leading the way for mankind
Everyday now, we remember you – thank you Paul.

-Muhamed Ali, Hallfield Jur.


Hasselbank was my favourite player
A super footballer
Star what a
Striker too!
Each time he strikes the ball
Like a bullet it
Blasts out the back of the net
And Arsenal are five goals down
In floods of tears, Arsenal fans
Notice that their team are RUBBISH!
Knowing they’ve lost the premier league to CHELSEA!!!

-Bethany Hawke, Barrow Hill


PAUL – acrostic

Played for Chelsea on the 12th of April in 1982

A fast running striker with a flare for scoring spectacular goals

Used to get booed and people used to throw banana skins

Like noble trees in a rushing wind, he faced that choice to stand or bend

-Abdul Kasirifu, Queen’s Park Primary School


Paul Canoville, black and proud
Also hated by some of the crowd
Under pressure from the racist fans
Look at the evil raised hands

Chelsea champion, hero and super!
A brave and powerful blue and white trooper
Never given a chance to play for England
Oh what an incredible winger
Very speedy on the wind, he’s on a mission
In the game he was like a magician
Lanky and representative not a hater
Loyal, and not a traitor
End of my career, tomorrow I’m becoming a pensioner

-Petrit Kasobagi


Playing for winning the game
Always scoring for Chelsea
Using his power to show he is good
Leader of the big team

Could do anything to be a champion
A Chelsea cup hero for all the decent
Never gave up
Or back down to the racism.
Vile salutes through banana skin threats
Intelligent player.
Lonely sitting on the bench
Loved by other fans.
Every one will support the man in blue.

-Haya Aldlame, Hallfield School.


Played for Chelsea
Acknowledged by no one
Unmistakably good, yet never played
Lakes and seas of skill in his great boots

Could do anything, when on the ball
And scoring striker of nature
Never quited though
Oh be quiet you racist fans
Vile people
In the crowd
Lost in the screaming shouts of people
Lost in a lonely world
E-mazingly good

-Laith Cahill, Barrow Hill (10)


Arthur was born in Ghana
Really pressured so gave up and become an alcoholic
Talented athlete, set a new world record for 100yds in 10 seconds. His father was half Scottish and half Grenadian
Used to play as a goalie, but got taken out by Bill Fatty Foulke
Really hard for him to fit in.

-Arthur Kasirivu, Queen’s Park Primary School


PAUL – acrostic

People didn’t accept him
And at first didn’t give him a chance
Unexpected brilliance
Lead him to his fame

-Edie Connealy, Barrow Hill


Playing for Chelsea also brave
A hated player because he was black
Ugly fans as can be
Lethal with a ball

Canoville you’re
At least you silenced when you scored
Never been distracted by his colour
Or listened to them words but gave his all
Very talented
I believe
Lots of people wanted him to
Except me!!

-Danielle Hayman Boscio Hallfield School, Age 11


PELE – acrostic

Played like a superstar
Everyone remembers him
Leads from the front
Everyone’s dream team player, PELE

Ben Cornford, Barrowhill School

Paul Canoville- acrostic

Playing for the team
Always supporting others
United with spirit
Loving and caring

Courageous and true
Allowing others to score
Never letting people down
Other fans let him down
Very proud of what he’s done
Lively and energetic
Leading the team
Ever remembered Paul Canoville

-Ellesse Stewart, Age 11

Canoville- acrostic

Cant go on in this state
And really really hates this world
Never ever reject his colour
Or question his right to play for the club
Vile words in his head
It will never be forgotten
Look at the sieg heil salutes
Loving the old time in Jamaica
End of my career Chelsea pensioned me off.


-Cosmo Taylor, Edward Wilson school

Paul Canoville- acrostic

Playing for Chelsea, you didn’t mind
Although they were chanting with their racist minds
Ugly as can be
Losing your head in racist chants

Canoville, you took the racist glance
Attacked by words, you tried your best
Never listened to the racist rest
Oh racist people shut your mouths
Very confident everyday
Increasingly strong, by the way
Leading with clean thoughts
Everyone will remember you in these Chelsea shorts.

-Tarik Hassane, Halfield Junior School


Paul Canoville- acrostic

Played for Chelsea
Always a blue
Under Pressure against racist people
Left on the bench on the very first game

Chelsea Cup hero
A true blue wonder!
Now would you stand or bend
Other people threatening Paul
Vile salutes through banana skin
I and my color will stand up front
Lonely on the bench
Love to play.
Every time stand up for himself.

– Norbert Cozema, Essendine Primary age 10


PIMLICO Library Oct 9 2004.
Poems on the theme of the Role of Black Role Models In Football…

Arthur Wharton

First black man to play in Britain
Found it hard to try and fit in
Fastest man the world could know
Record sprinter but stuck in goal
Not good enough for England because he was black
But I think he’s the best and that’s a fact
He came from Ghana and here found fame
Buried, unmarked, no gravestone, no name.

Benji Marfo aged 10
St Gabriel’s School
The First Black Player for Chelsea

Your family came over on the Windrush
From the hot beautiful Jamaica
To the grim grey London
Knocking on doors trying to find somewhere to live
But all they found was
So unwelcome but they didn’t give up
But neither did you Paul

It’s the twelfth of April 1982
Your Chelsea debut
Warming up at Crystal Palace
Chelsea fans were screaming their malice
Making you feel unwelcome
But what could you do Paul?
Stand or Bend?
You stood firm Paul
You never gave up
You’re my hero Paul
You’re my role model

Nadine Charlemagne aged 10
Westminster Cathedral RC Primary
‘Didier Drogba’

He’s fast and furious
He’s the hitman for the blues
He’s a skillful player
Win or lose

He’s like a spider
Catch him if you can
Waiting to pounce
He’s a good packer man

He’s a giant in the air
He’s black and he’s proud
And when he scores
I scream out loud.

Jed Faulkner, 10, St Matthew’s Primary

Holland is his country
And Middlesborough is his club
Striker, strong and skillful
Stupendous super-sub
Long fast distance runner
Emirates flew him high
Blue was his team, but now he wears red
A single touch and then a goal
Nutmeg’s defenders on the way to the box
Knocks it over the keeper at the last tick of the clock

Connor Clark, 10, St Peter’s Eaton Square
William Gallas

World class player
I believe
Lots of pain
Lightning speed
International for fans
Always on defence
Much loved by Chelsea fans

Goalkeepers don’t have to move
Always strong and steady
London blues
Legend at Chelsea
Always stopping strikers
Stamford Bridge

James Rees, 10, St Matthew’s
Paul Canoville

Played for Chelsea
Always a blue
Unhappy, not wealthy
Loved by a few

Could always play football
And played on the wing
Never was bad
And known as a king
Very sad because of bullies
Ignorant and racist, STOP!
Leave me alone, you cowards
Even know, I made it to the top.

Siphiwe Musumga, 10, St Matthew’s School
Paul Canoville
Paul’s family came from Jamaica and had a hard time too,
Just as Paul had on his debut
They came off the Windrush and looked for a room,
But there were signs saying, ‘No blacks, no Irish, no dogs.’
They could have given up just like you could have, Paul
But you were so brave
To stick up for the blues.
You did it in spite of the chants and the boos.

Elsie Gray and Clare Manning, 10, Westminster Cathedral School
Paul Canoville

Penalties will end the game
All blue men with make us proud
Unhappy and great
Lunge and shoot

Can always play a wonderful game
Alone, but good
Nothing will stop him from being a blue
Open and ready
Volley a goal to win the game
I and my colour will stand up front
Lonely on the subs bench at Crystal Palace
Lacking love by some and praised by others
Everyone will know he is a true blue.

Bobbie Wells, 10, St Matthew’s CE Primary
‘Thierry Henry’

Tricky, talented
He’s the best black player for me
It brought him pain
European Best Footballer of the Year
Runs at defenders
Ready for actions
Yes, he plays for Arsenal
He’s fast and skilled
Never stop fighting
You see him getting booed, but he’s the man for me.

Rianna Fergus, 8, St Peter’s Eaton Square

Chelsea player
Abused for playing football
Now he’s at the top
Of the league
Victim of colour
Ignorance from another
Little bit famous
Liked by a few
Everyone remembers Chelsea’s first black player.

Besart Zymberi, 10, Millbank

‘Paul Canoville’

I saw the salutes
By my own blue-shirted fans,
I saw their anger
Through their pointed hands
I thought that they liked me
But now I know they don’t support me
because of the colour of my skin
Now I’m going to fight for black people’s rights
from this day in
Because I’m a player, not because of my colour,
give me a chance and give me a cheer.

Isabel O’Callaghan, 10, St Matthews

‘Thiery Henry’

Thiery Henry, he’s gone so far
Everybody knows he’s a star
For Arsenal, he scores lots of hatrics (?)
In the game he does all the tricks.
It’s not nice being an alien;
All black footballers know it’s a pain.
All the horrible racists in the crowd
STOP NOW, ‘cause everybody knows
What goes around, comes around.
Thiery Henry doesn’t deserve to be abused,
He’s here to cheer, play football, and keep the crowds amused,
Voted European footballer of the year.

Jay, Pimlico
To Write to Crispin…..

Crispin Thomas Football Poets 4 The Retreat Stroud Glos.GL5 2LS

Source: https://footballpoets.org/news/2005/05/23/womens-euro-2005-poems-dick-kerr-ladies-football-poetry-workshops/