The Shirt

Posted by nige on May 17, 2004, 06:02:39 PM

Worn the last 4 years by the mighty stalwart Finn
As he frowns in concentration, smiles when he heads one in.
Worn for a just a year by the dreadlocked Rigo Song
Often under-rated, though he never did much wrong.

Worn, unbelievably,  for 4 doldrum years
By the at first over-rated, then  berated, McAteer.
Worn so dependably for 8 seasons by Steve Nicol,
Such a tireless runner, so strong in the tackle.

Worn with a ’tache, for 4 years by Lawrenson,
Partnered with panache by the peerless Alan Hansen,
Who wore it just 8 times, before 6 became his place
And wearing it just 5 times - Jimmy, Jimmy - Jimmy Case !

For 10 whole seasons it was Phil Thompson’s jersey,
As he held the cups aloft,  for the boys from the Mersey.
Yes for a whole decade it was our Thommo’s jersey!!
(though he lost the odd shirt when the cups went back to Kirkby).

Worn for just a few games, in his final season of thirteen ,
By undersung Chris Lawler,  “quiet man” of  Shankly’s team.
In 1972 a personal hero, Trevor Storton, gets a mention,
Wearing it 4 times, when Shanks signed him from Prenton.

But perhaps its greatest wearer, for 7 glorious years,
Was Anfield’s mighty “Iron”, who every forward feared.
He came back to wear it with all his pride and soul
To replace Phil in Rome, and head that mighty goal!
The goal that the ‘Anfield Iron’ changed our history with!
A goal from Heighway’s corner by the ‘iron man’,  Smith!

Worn by the solid Gordon Milne, as vital as Ron Yeats
5 seasons (and three titles) powering the Shankly greats.
When Smith or Milne got injured, it was worn by Geoff Strong
Who in 6 years at Anfield put 10 different numbers on!

Phil Taylor wore it in '50, skippering the Reds at Wembley
And then for three seasons became manager before Shankly.
It is the same number shirt that was worn by Shankly too.
In white for Proud Preston and the Pride of Scotland’s blue.

The first Liverpool player to wear it was a mystery.
So I had to do a bit of research, back into league history.
And what a worthy man to be this shirt’s first wearer,
One of football’s great statesmen was its standard bearer. 
Because, when numbered shirts came in, back in ’thirty-nine,
Matt Busby was the right-half in Liverpool’s middle line.

Well after 4 months waiting, I’m wearing it in just 4 days,
After 4 months kind of "training", I’m wearing it on Friday.
After 4 months saving, I can afford the big donation
To some brilliant charities who help our football nation.

I’ll wear it with such pride, I’ll wear it with such feeling,
I’ll wear it right alongside my captain Ronnie Whelan *!
Cally will be manager and give us a "Shankly team talk"!
Out of the dressing room, and down the tunnel we’ll walk.

I’ll be behind Ronnie and Barney Rubble in the line,
I’ll reach up and touch the ‘This is Anfield’ sign,
And I’ll run out onto Anfield, like each of those greats,
Wearing number 4, but getting skitted by me mates !

It’s live the dream! It’s seize the day !
It’s the brilliant Football-Aid-dot-com !
It’s all my boyhood dreams true …
At the age of  forty-one!!

© nige 2004

*as it turned out, Phil Neal took Ronnie's place.

Football Aid is a charity which raises funds in collaboration with the majority of major clubs, including Liverpool. Fans have the chance to bid for a place on a team to play alongside their heros, and to step out on the Anfield turf wearing the famous Red shirt.

The funds are distributed in three ways:

Nominated Charities of Participating Clubs
Voluntary and charitable organisations, named by their participating Football Club, which want to improve services and facilities to people.

Nominated Charities of the Football Leagues
Charitable organisations, named by the Football Leagues as their nominated charities, which are seeking to develop services into new areas of need.

Diabetes Related Projects
A primary aim is to support research directed towards finding a cure for Type 1 Diabetes. Support will also be considered for research into the strategies for the prevention of Type 1 Diabetes and its complications, and for improving the lifestyles of children and young people with diabetes on a day-to-day basis.

For more information visit the Football Aid website:

http://www.footballaid.com/

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