It’s been suggested by several ovf Forum regulars that Boomer’s story should be archived for future easy reference. Well, it seems our favourite Aussie has researched the various ovf threads about our lovable Staffy Bulldog mascot, as well as checking important details with one of the principle characters as needs arise. The result is this delightful little poem.
It all started in February 2004 when ‘Valiant’, an ovf Forum regular, begged the question as to the who, what, how, when & why gave birth to Boomer – that truly loveable Staffordshire Bulldog mascot who has become one of the most recognisable icon’s for Port Vale FC in particular, and a great ambassador for Potteries football in general.
This verse is in four parts. In the first part Boomer tells us a little about himself – he’s very shy you know…lol. In the second and third parts Boomer spends some time recalling the events leading up and including Mr Blobbie. The last part is the author’s.
This verse is also dedicated to four wonderful people, the ‘Stars in a cast of many, without whom Boomer may not be a part of our lives today. So, with special thanks to Sandra & Errol York (mum & dad), Gavin York (aka Boomer), and Jim Cooper (Vale’s man in the community & Boomer’s creator), here is the story.
Oh, and by the way, don’t forget Boomer’s eighth birthday in November.
Boom, Boom, Boomer
You’ll see me every home game, unless I’m all laid up,
Doing what I love to do since I was just a pup,
Oh sure, I watch the action much later in the game,
But first of all, above all else, I’m here to entertain.
Yes, I love to entertain you all, no matter who you are,
The good folk of the Six Towns, or Plymouth from afar,
I love to hold the babies, having photos with the kids,
Plus signing autographs and hosting special gigs.
I get the greatest buzz when on the hallowed ground
Located in the Hamil in good old Burslem Town
Where I love to tease opponents, and mimic tourist type,
It’s all part of my psyche creating lots of hype.
And when we hold a ‘Benefit’ for a legend of our past
It’s a chance for me to give the game an little extra blast,
Yes, a chance for me to give my tail a cheeky little wag
As I spring the offside trap with the liner’s flag.
Mums’ say I’m adorable, young girls love me too,
I’m a favourite with the tiny tots, my pedigree’s true blue,
There’s Lorna Bailey drinking mugs, as well as Boomer dolls
And I’m rated with the best in the mascot polls.
Now in the next two parts I’d like to talk about
A young man we know well, a really super Scout,
It’s a story worth the knowing if you’ve the time to read,
So stay a little longer and I’ll bring you up to speed.
Fourteen years ago it was, when he was just a lad,
A time that he recalls was looking really bad,
After playing for his school, known as Holden Lane,
He wondered if his health would ever been the same.
After leaping up and over and heading out the ball
He went down with a rush and a heavy fall,
The next thing he remembers he was laying on a bed
Waiting for the medics do a scan upon his head.
Because his many headaches just would not go away
He was kept in hospice care for a longer stay,
Then finally the cause of his suffering and pain
Was diagnosed a tumour in the middle of his brain.
A small biopsy taken to see what should be done
Doesn’t sound exiting, doesn’t sound much fun,
But little did he realise he’d get a big surprise
The moment he came to and opened up his eyes.
Sitting by his bedside, bold and large as life,
Was the gaffer John de Rudge of the Black and White,
With him was Ray Walker and new man Peter Swan,
They’d come to spend some time with Mrs York’s son.
A signed shirt and a football, a Port Vale ‘goody bag’,
Were gifts they gave to him when he was poorly bad,
They stayed for half an hour, except for Peter Swan
Who went to say hello to each and every one.
He spoke to every patient, every staffer he could find,
His smile was effervescent; his words were very kind,
His bonhomie contagious, a top man through and through,
Three hours later on Swanny waved a fond adieu.
At that point in time Gavin knew what he must do,
But little did he know his thinking would come true,
For the promise he did make whilst lying there alone
Was to give a little back as soon as he got home.
When finally at home his mum and dad were there
To tend his every need with the best of loving care,
They truly were fantastic and even to this day
Continue their support in every single way.
Weeks of radio therapy, the loss of all his hair,
Wearing hats in school so others wouldn’t stare,
He’d been dragged through the mill and was looking rather pale,
But by fifteen years of age was addicted to Port Vale.
Two years later on, when for a Valiant cause,
His dad was asked to play the role of Santa Claus
To all the girls and boys in the middle of Vale Park,
Gavin asked his dad if he could play a part.
He dressed as Mr Blobbie, a favourite at the time,
To entertain the girls and boys as Christmas bells did chime,
Then for the next three years you’d see him at the game
Dressed as Mr Blobbie; dressed to entertain.
The rumours in the Hamil were gathering apace
That a new lad would come running down the players’ race,
A local lad it seemed would join us very soon
And step onto the pitch to the tune of Boom Boom Boom.
With details hard to get, and the ‘Club being cute,
The Sentinel wrote little of our new recruit
Except to state that we would get a big surprise
On Saturday at half-time before our very eyes.
That one day in November was indeed a big surprise
When a Staffy Bulldog mascot came into our lives,
And since that autumn day in nineteen ninety six
Boomer’s entertained us with his canine tricks.
July 22, 2004