John, John, the Arsenal Fan

John, John, the Arsenal Fan

Shaun Higgs aka Biddulphian shares with onevalers the time he and his Valiant mate travelled to Vale Park in a top of the range Mercedes – courtesy of John, the well dressed Arsenal fan.


John, John, the Arsenal Fan

Shaun Biddulph shared a memoir
About two magic games,
And wonders if we’ll ever see
The likes of such again.

We’d played the mighty Gunners’
In the F.A. Cup,
And history tells the story
They were riding on their luck.

The first game was at Highbury
In the Ancient Crown,
With the replay in the Hamil
In good ol’ Burslem Town.

Shaun Biddulph saw the replay
With his Valiant mate,
When Arsenal came to town
Back in nineteen ninety-eight.

And joining them that day
Was John, a well dressed bloke,
Whose team is not Port Vale,
Not even Crewe or Stoke.

John owned a local business
And was a gentleman of mark,
Who’d promised he would join them
Should his team play at Vale Park.

In keeping to his word,
Made to Biddulphian’s friend,
John took them to the game
In his posh Mercedes Benz.

So there they were together
Standing side by side,
And just in time for kick-off
Towards another slice of pride.

Yes, John the loyal ‘Gunner
Stood tall and very proud
On the rival terraces
Of a happy Valiant crowd.

When Bergkamp scored the first
To advance the Arsenal cause,
To the surprise of true blue locals
John gave polite applause.

At any other time,
And another football ground,
John’s quiet appreciation
May not have been so sound.

But the good folk of the Hamil
Were of a different tone
Who’d helped their guest named John
Relax and feel at home.

When ‘Twinkle-toes’ Wayne Corden
Evened up the score,
Valiants around the ground
Gave up a mighty roar.

And in the Lorne Street Stand
The crowd went up as one,
Except, of course, our well dressed gent,
The Arsenal fan named John.

Shaun says the scene was ‘mental’
Taking time to settle down,
But when it did, to their surprise,
John was nowhere to be found.

Had he done a runner –
A very fast retreat?
No, he had fallen to the ground
And was lying at their feet.

Brushing down his clothes
John told our Valiant two
He went sprawling to the floor
In the crazy hullabaloo.

The game was won on penalties
And Arsenal held its luck
By going on to win
The coveted F.A. Cup.

There was plenty of good humour,
Even though we lost the game,
And John, John, the Arsenal fan
Bought drinks to ease their pain.

Barry Edge
Western Australia
August 29, 2003


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