William Goer.jpg Taken from pages 68 and 69 of "The Footballer" 1879. Some prose describing a match between Geelong and Carlton at Geelong's home ground. Despite the Blues losing on the day it is magnificent to read this poem and get a feel for the parry and thrust of the game in the 1870's.

You will realise after reading this that the emotions of the supporters are very much the same now as they were 130 years ago.


Dedicated to the "Ever-victorious" Twenty, by "C."

Ten thousand together, ye Knights of the Leather,
Tho' wintry the weather, to cheer you along!
The gray sky is o'er you, the green turf before you,
I don't know what more you could want but a song.

A song with a rattle that tells of the battle,
That tells of the knocks and the shocks of the fray -
Of kicks that slow-soaring, go goalward, and scoring
May settle the fortune and fate of the day.

The Carlton mean winning and faith, there's no sinning
In those we are pinning their hopes to the Blue;
Well trained, and no lumber in one of their number,
With Gardiner for captain for pull the match through.

But the Dark Blue and White are the twenty to fight,
And none have been able their colours to lower;
A team strong and wiry, with play fast and fiery,
So dauntless and vauntless they come to the fore.

"Now, boys, to your places." Each forward man races,
And almost out paces the ball as it rolls;
And ere half a minute the Pivot are in it,
And go with a rush for the enemy's goals.

"Now, nearer, boys, nearer!" Look out where it's clearer,
And, forwards, you steer her right through if you can?"
No go-they have got it, the Dark Blue have shot it.
Right out; the ruck-players are "there" to a man.

Soon Carlton endanger the posts of the stranger,
But off is the ball on its travels again:
"Good mark, Watt, and ready! Right, boys, keep her steady!
For now you must manage the foemen to pen."

But the gallant Dark Blue show that they can mark too,
And quickly they carry the ball from their end;
While straining each muscle and limb in the tussle,
Geelong are just able their goal to defend.

But out the Stripes Sally, and rush follows rally,
And all well together they pass the ball back;
Now Fairbairn has gripped it, and through he has "ripped" it,
A forty yards gaol to the Grammar School crack.

Look! once more they're working, and not a man shirking,
And loud is the cheering that's ringing around;
For fast travels Goer, and not a bit slower
Their captain has managed to cover the ground.

Paddy Gunn, get it Straighter. - Alas! a miss greater
Than last time! Play, Pivot, your colours to save!
Kicked, Richards! Stripes, stop it! Yes, touched on the hop; it
Was not a goal, but it was a close shave.

Half-time soon is over, the Pivot's in clover,
And Stiffe has a chance, which he misses; and now
Each man on his mettle, to business they settle,
And a "do or die" look comes on every ones' brow.

And now by the railing the Carlton prevailing,
Come down with a rush on the westerly wing;
Another chance buttered! and then a half muttered
Low growl of annoyance ascends from the ring.

The fight becomes tougher, the scrimmage is rougher
With "Sandie" and Watson they haven't a show.
Played! Wilson for ever! A gallant endeavour
To carry, lone-haned, the fort of the foe!

Now face to face meeting, no thoughts of retreating;
The men in the centre are having a bout;
But there's no denying, the Stripes, who send flying
The Blues, and the ball is shot rapidly out.

Passed on to the forwards it comes up to nor'wards.
Now Douglas, the Dodger, has got it at last:
Ah, now no mark-missing, no mother-earth-kissing-
Now show yourself worthy the fame of the past!

Marked, Christie! Now place it, and carefully face it,
And mind you kick steady-to miss is a crime!
Hurrah! we're victorious! by all that is glorious,
They surely can't manage two goals in the time!

Look out, boys! no "blowing" The Dark Blues mean "going"/
It's always a toss up when men are so matched.
See-a goal! Two to one. No!-the battle's not done-
Now don't count your chickens before they are hatched.

But the Stripes ever striving, the leather hard driving,
And somehow contriving their own to maintain-
The Blue goal assailing, untiring, unfailing,
By two to a single the victory gain.

Played! Forty for ever! A better game never
Was fought to the finish, as all have allowed;
For marking and kicking, for "hard-to-it-sticking."
Each man for the Twenty, and not for the crowd.

One thing we rely on, if foes should e'er try on
A game that is sterner than football to view,
When bullets are flying and comrades are dying,
Our boys to the bright "Southern Cross" will be true

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