Another Season Done and Dusted

Another Season Done and Dusted

This onevalefan poem pays tribute to Paul Humphreys, also known as TallPaul, onevalefan’s mild mannered reporter, and winner of Aussie Rules ‘Shutterbug of the Year’ award, for his many home and away dispatches plus photographs during season 2001/2002.

This onevalefan poem pays tribute to Paul Humphreys, also known as TallPaul, onevalefan’s mild mannered reporter, and winner of Aussie Rules ‘Shutterbug of the Year’ award, for his many home and away dispatches plus photographs during season 2001/2002.

Another Season Done and Dusted

On the last day of the season he was there again
To record and to dispatch a report of the game
For the pages of onevalefan, they make a good read,
And they help keep every exiles right up to speed
On all things Port Vale, plus photographs too,
Paul Humphreys his name – a real true blue.

Yes, he was there when the Champions of Nationwide Two
Travelled to the Hamil in their white and blue
With following fans said to be four thousand plus,
Who had travelled by train, car and bus
To celebrate in style and to have some fun
Before taking their place in Nationwide One.

For many Valiants there were memories and more
Of a déjà vu back in ninety-four,
There was a guard of honour by our ‘Lads
With loud applause from the mums and dads
Plus other Valiants on the day
And a grand salute from Horton’s way.

The merry band of winners from Brighton and Hove
Were certainly enjoying the party mode
When the whistle was blown to start the game
Taking them one step closer to their own piece of fame,
But what should have been a great end to the season
Was spoilt by decisions lacking rhyme and reason.

The first thirty minutes were enough for Paul
To fear the worst – an all in brawl,
Following an elbow to the face of Stephen McPhee
Was Brooker’s two-footed challenge, and a player melee,
Sending the referee and linesman chin to chin
Before telling young Brooker no more party for him.

Now the mood of the day had changed somewhat
For it seemed the referee had lost the plot,
Was that penalty not given to the boys from the coast
The referee’s way of repaying the hosts?
With his weird decisions still confusing them all
He signalled half time and called for the ball.

***

The second half started much the same
When manager Brian Horton made a change
By replacing Sean McClare with teenager Paul Byrne
To strengthen and help the defence to stand firm,
There was no fancy football from either side
But at least they were playing for a big slice of pride.

It seems Michael Walsh was doing just fine
By containing Zamora for most of the time
Because the Albion star when in attack
Gave our Man of the Match a big push in the back,
Then when Michael appealed to that Ryan fellow
Instead of a free kick, was given a yellow.

The game seemed headed for a goaless draw
With neither side finding a way to score,
Then in the seventieth minute, according to Paul,
Our man Neil Brisco pushed Nathan Jones off the ball,
And when the resulting free kick went in off the post
The champagne was being poured for a Royal Brighton toast.

Now Neil just knew that the gaffer was annoyed
And perhaps looked away his eyes to avoid,
But when he saw Chris Birchill with the fourth official
He knew he wouldn’t be there for the final whistle,
For a ten-minute period Vale’s performance was intense
But couldn’t break through the Brighton defence.

With the sun setting low in the western skies
It was time to say a season’s goodbyes,
So when Mr Ryan brought the game to an end
Port Vale supporters’ congrats did extend
And celebrated the moment with the Brighton folk,
Will it be us next year? We can only but hope.

Barry Edge
Western Australia
April 24, 2002

***

There’s a good news postscript on onevalefan
About a successful appeal of Steve Brooker’s ban,
After viewing the video of the game
Mr Ryan agreed he needed to change
The red to a yellow – giving Steve every reason
To line up again at the start of the new season.

Barry Edge
Western Australia
April 28, 2002

🙂

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