Barry Edge puts Old Sage’s Coffin March thank you note to verse as we remember a significant day in Port Vale’s history.
It’s 3.37am Sunday 1st May 2011 and old sage is wide awake, sitting at his keyboard composing a ‘Thank You’ letter to all those who answered the call to join him on the ‘Funeral March’ the day before.
Fed up to the back teeth with all the shenanigans perpetrated by the Port Vale F.C. Board, Mike Lakin aka ‘old sage’ decided a major statement must be made on the last home game of the season.
It was to be his contribution in addition to the other protests and actions being taken by Black & Gold, North London Valiants and Starve ‘em Out.
Everyone was invited including the various media, and with magnificent support from the local police, it seems the ‘March was a resounding success.
So, here is Mike’s Thank You letter.R.I.P TO SAVE PORT VALEI simply cannot sleep; my mind is in a whirl,And my thinning, straightened hair is maddening to curl,There’s much I want to say but don’t know where to startPlus grateful thanks to give from the bottom of my heartIt’s early in the morning, for some it’s Labour Day,A time to shout their protest, a time to have their say,To demonstrate together, to make their message clear,That no-one can deny the things that they hold dearSo many times I’ve dreamt of a march to fill the Hamil,A silly dream perhaps like ‘a needle and a camel’,Then yesterday in Burslem Town you made my dream come trueAnd this Old Sage salutes you – I’m so very proud of youWhen at first I mentioned a ‘Funeral March’ to stageTo make our feelings known, to demonstrate our rage,One or two cried out a coffin was ‘No Go!’Others sneered and said ‘twas my ego that’s on showSome Valiants are convinced our ‘Football Club is fineAnd said the ‘Funeral March’ was just a waste of time,They mocked that we’d be lucky a handful to turn out –That the ‘March was just a front for the thug and violent loutBut hang about, where have they been to think our ‘Club is fine?‘Cus it’s quite clear our ‘Board of five is ‘Tick-Tock’ out of time,They’ve turned away investment without a by your leaveAnd they never say a word to keep us up to speedThen a message in the Hamil, the talk around the townsIs a ‘Bid to buy Port Vale for around five million pounds,A self made man it seems has a vision for Port ValeBut the message he keeps getting is ‘The ‘Club is not for sale’‘We’ve done our bit’, or so they say, ‘It’s time to say goodbye’,But it seems to me this well worn line is just another lie,But wait, another bid has dropped out of the blue –But they’re not fooling me, nor are they fooling you‘Reveal the name?’ We ask BB ‘And give some details pleaseTo keep us in the loop; to put our minds at ease?’Stop playing games, your time is up; it’s time for you to sellAnd leave us with our Football Club – in that we’d wish you well.To hang around will do no good, the list of problems growWith the ‘Pride of the Potteries’ self esteem now at an all time low,The Lorne Street Stand, a thinning squad, poor drainage of the pitchPlus many other reasons – it’s YOU we want to ditch!So yesterday, ‘Our Protest Day’, the thirtieth of March,We gathered in the Bulls Head, a drink to stem the parch,Then guided by police with the media in towOur marchers of two hundred would soon begin to growIt seems the ‘Club was watching from the safety of the ‘StandsAnd by now our growing number included Morecambe fans,Then half way up the Hamil a backwards glance did sneakTo see so many faces stretching back to Jenkins StreetBy the time we reached the car park on the Lorne Street sideI must confess yours truly was filled with joy and pride,For rather as predicted our numbers would be smallTwelve hundred, maybe more, had rallied to the ‘CallSo many folk to thank, so much I want to sayAbout our peaceful protest on a warm and sunny day,But I know you’ll understand if I keep it short and sweetAnd I hope to thank each one of you the next time that we meetThere’s one more thing before I go, before I get to bed,It’s to tell you just how very proud I am of my lad Kev,His energy and drive, plus that coffin with detailIs Kevin’s message to us all that we must save Port ValeBarry EdgeWestern AustraliaMay 1, 2011🙂