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In Praise of the Johnny Haynes Stand – Craven Cottage

1 Leave a comment on verse 1 0 I sat in the Riverside Stand and froze
With fingers numbed and icy toes
On those rigid polythene affairs
The frigid moulded plastic chairs.
-And concrete’s OK for a bridge,
But it makes a football stand a ‘fridge –
For a winter sport you wonder why ?
-The solution comes from times gone by.

2 Leave a comment on verse 2 0 Across the pitch the Johnny Haynes
Shows that someone used his brains
The tip-up seats are made of wood
Which does the bum a lot more good
The floorboards too are rather crafty
With gaps between, which might prove draughty
But for the cheering, warming glow
From the catering going on below.

3 Leave a comment on verse 3 0 From a thousand pies a-gently warming
A balmy microclimate’s forming
And the warmth (that the Riverside always lacks)
Percolates up betwixt the cracks.
So the comfort of my JH seat
Will warm my heart and warm my feet
‘Cos here the chill of winter’s fleeting
When we’re all warmed by central eating !

3

Notes

The much loved Johnny Haynes Stand at the Cottage dates back to 1905 and has a listed facade………..

Despite the stanchions which allow a more limited view than you get from the newer Riverside Stand, there are compensations…..
Editor Note: Thank God for listed things! Having worked at FFC below the stand in the Study Support Centre many times now, I’ve mentioned on this site a few times – the uniqueness and beauty of sitting on those wooden seats alone in an emptrty ground at dusk .Well worn and time polished seats that have held bums from many a glorious yesteryear .With our clinical look-alike shopping centre stadiums it’s so amazing to stil be able to look out to a roof curved around a 600 year old tree in the far left corner in Bishops Park and of course the cottage itself. My favourite aspect though, apart from the old painted and repainted wooden staircases in the JH Stand, are the almost art-deco original green Press lamps still used today !
Thanks Ron . My tribute peom is in the recent beautful Johnny Haynes -The Maestro book. Keep on Crispin

Source: https://footballpoets.org/poems/in-praise-of-the-johnny-haynes-stand-craven-cottage/