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I supported Bolton Wanderers when I was a lad,
I watched them every match day, I went with my Dad.
“Best team in Bowton” my Grandad used to say,
I couldn’t work that one out, for many a day.
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First match I went to, was in Nineteen Forty-Eight,
Perched on my Dad’s shoulders, I was only lightweight.
My memories of those days are in black and white,
A long time before they played under floodlight.
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“You can go with your mates now that you’re eleven”
I was over the moon and thought it was heaven.
Living on the doorstep of Burnden, I couldn’t get lost,
One Shilling in the old money, that’s all it cost.
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“If you get down there early, you’ll get a game” my Dad laughed.
I knew he was joking because I wasn’t daft.
Early in Fifty-Three my Grandad told me,
“If Bowton get t’ Wembley, I’ll pay for thee”.
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Sadly my Grandad died peacefully in bed,
But I’ll never forget the words he had said.
The Wanderers progressed through rounds four and five,
Everyone was smiling and feeling alive.
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Television or Electric we did not have,
Only one gaslight and an outside lav.
I was disappointed, downhearted and sad, because of the reason,
I’d miss Bolton Wanderers versus Blackpool, last match of the season.
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“Never mind son, something will turn up”,
My Dad reassured me that I’d see The Cup.
Nothing happened as the weeks passed on by,
As a last resort, I’d have to listen to the tie.
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When the day of the Cup Final eventually came,
My Auntie said “Come to our house to watch the game”,
We had fish and chips, some had steak pudding,
Curtains were drawn and the place was buzzing.
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A room full of supporters, all eager and keen,
Were gathered together, to cheer on our team.
There were people on cushions and people on chairs,
I had to make do with a stool under’t stairs.
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The commentator was describing what he could see,
He must have thought he was on’t wireless instead of TV.
“The Wembley turf looks lush and green”,
I’m glad he told me that, it was grey on the screen.
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The old timers were drinking Pale Ale,
Talking tactics and football in some detail.
“Don’t let the ball get to him on the wing”,
Manager Bill Ridding, was probably saying the same thing.
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A capacity crowd singing “Abide With Me”,
On the second day of May, Nineteen Fifty-Three.
Banners and bunting displayed all around,
The scene was set on this most famous ground.
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Pre-match preliminaries over, the band marched off,
Just a few minutes more to the big Kick-Off.
NAT LOFTHOUSE on our side, STANLEY MATHEWS on theirs.
This F.A. Cup Final, I would remember for years.