The old ‘Boys Pen’

1 Leave a comment on verse 1 0 THE OLD ‘BOYS PEN’

2 Leave a comment on verse 2 0 Its fifteen minutes to kick off time
Im in my seat, Block 109
I look around, I hear the noise
see lots of fathers with their boys.

3 Leave a comment on verse 3 0 The kids look happy, a marvelous sight
macdonalds burgers they all bite
they’re all excited thats for sure
and with their dads they feel secure.

4 Leave a comment on verse 4 0 Although the surroundings have now all changed
the children’s feelings are just the same
the middle classes have now arrived
but things were different for a sixties child.

5 Leave a comment on verse 5 0 I then look out across the kop
to the right hand corner at the top
where up until the age of ten
I served my time in the old ‘boys pen’.

6 Leave a comment on verse 6 0 For those of you who do not know
it was a place for kids to go
metal bars like a kind of cage
where little kopites came of age.

7 Leave a comment on verse 7 0 I remember the first time I went inside
Liverpool v Chelsea 65
a star struck boy who stood amazed
football was all we had those days.

8 Leave a comment on verse 8 0 Youd always see some kids from school
they came from all over Liverpool
little scouses every week
from kirkby town right up to speke.

9 Leave a comment on verse 9 0 The kop was packed out in those days
but at half time, dad found a way
to fight his way through all the crowd
and feed his boy, he did me proud.

10 Leave a comment on verse 10 0 An ‘eccles cake’ a sausage roll
a drink of coke, god bless his soul
between the bars he’d pass it through
like feeding monkeys at the zoo.

11 Leave a comment on verse 11 0 And through those bars we used to stare
at all the kopites standing there
oh how we’d long to stand with them
and make that step from boys to men.

12 Leave a comment on verse 12 0 Some kids escaped now and again
it was a pretty dangerous game
it filled the kopites full of laughter
to see kids dangling from the rafters.

13 Leave a comment on verse 13 0 It had its own ‘soprano’ choir
you couldn’t sing ‘walk on’ much higher
inside those bars kids sang with pride
but it sounded so funny from the other side.

14 Leave a comment on verse 14 0 When the match was over at 4.45
your dad would pick you up outside
dozens of kids , some big some small
stood opposite the pen by the old brick wall.

15 Leave a comment on verse 15 0 But that was how it was those days
no greedy players, no corporate ways
they recognized us ‘kopite cubs’
we were the future of the club.

16 Leave a comment on verse 16 0 Then at last it came my time
to leave this little world behind
I was at an age when every lad
didnt want to go the match with dad.

17 Leave a comment on verse 17 0 And so I passed out to the kop
that love affair has never stopped
I take my son to the occasional game
but this ‘dad and lad’ thing’s not the same.

18 Leave a comment on verse 18 0 You never see young lads no more
who go the match in three’s and fours
this city’s children rue the day
when they took the old boys pen away.

19 Leave a comment on verse 19 0 The money men arrived in town
and in their wisdom pulled it down
they called it ‘progress’ but we read their thoughts
who needs children when adults pay more.

20 Leave a comment on verse 20 0 I now drift back to present day
I take my seat, watch the redmen play
a diehard red , Im the real McCoy
because I was groomed from a little boy.

21 Leave a comment on verse 21 0 That golden era has now passed by
but we all have memories you cannot buy
from apprentice kopites, now middle aged men
who served their time in the old boys pen.

22 Leave a comment on verse 22 0 Dave Kirby


The Boys Pen was a little institution where every scouser did his apprenticeship. It stood for nearly 70 years until its demolition in 1981.
The club called this treacherous act ‘Progress’!, but as you can guess, progress was a designer name for greed, as ‘ The Boys Pen ‘ was never replaced.

Source: https://footballpoets.org/poems/the-old-boys-pen/