4000 Holes

'The Last Whistle Blown'

Friday, 11 November 2022

I were only a nipper when I watched me first game
Crowded cobbled streets full of football talk
What must it be like, this crowd knowing your name
One day I’ll do that changing room walk

With ambition and determination I developed my skill
Signed as a professional, I’m bursting with pride
First family member not to work down the mill
This new manager is building a formidable side

Team stature gaining day by day
First division champions two years out of three
Preparations for the new season were well underway
Then Great Britain declared war on Germany

Family and friends taking the King’s Shilling
Football League insists our season goes on
As by Christmas there’ll be an end to this killing
Some say Professionals not enlisting is wrong

With the club’s permission I finally volunteer 
Footballers Battalion was the one for me
League continues, they made this clear
Let us join the fight was Battalion’s plea

Farcical season finally comes to an end
Now more footballers can answer Kitchener’s call
Our honour, we’ll no longer have to defend
Marching to the train station feeling ten feet tall

Front line conditions shockingly bad
Rats and lice share our muddy trench
General’s tactics seem utterly mad
Field full of bodies creates an awful stench

Death by disease, shelling and snipers, to name a few
Comrades and brothers have no time to mourn
Surely now payback to Kaiser is due
Word is out, we go over the top at dawn

Nervously waiting with bayonets fixed
Whistle blows and over we go
Battalion football, across the field, is kicked
Muddied boots stumble over the bodies below

Fritz guns hacking comrades down all around me
Our football has almost reached their goal
Explosion ahead, I can no longer see
I hope that God will accept my soul

Many of us can never again play for our teams
We don’t need any honours or fuss
We’re happy young Britons can follow their dreams
And all we ask, is that you remember us

4000 Holes

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