December 30, 1899
Oh! The Football Sea, lives a life sublime
When his team always win – what a glorious time!
With shekels o’erflows the club treasuree–
And, of course, there’s a rise in his own salarie.
“How clever!” “How ‘cute!” “How awfully fly!”
“Did you ever?” “No, never” “his admirers cry”
His exploits take wings and far his fame spread —
The delight of his friends – of his foes the great dread;
And bid follows bid for his service exclusive —
They really are most extremely proinsive!
The bright side that, of the medal, you see,
When the course of a team is one long victoriee.
But oh! The reverse, when nothing goes right,
And existence is staked on a desperate fight —
The fair-weather friends have yanish’d from view,
And you’re left in the lurch in your own juice to stew!
“The silly!” “The stoopid!” “How vast overated!”
“We did alway declare his merits o’er stated!”
And so they go on when you’re down in the gutter;
Your “friends” and your fioes alike join in the splutter!
The mock and the jeer, the Football of Fate,
Now no longer the idol of public irate —
Ah’ pity the lot of the Football Sea,
Standing over the drop with the rope round his neck!
My plans all collapsed, my schemes all undone,
Kind sir, please oblige me-er-pray lend me a gun!
The hemp or the steel – I’m indifferent which one,
What’s the difference so long as from earth I sin gone!
The prussic acid, quick’ the posion pot – a hum,
What’s this? – It is! – no! – yes! – by Jovel it is – the gum!!!
The above “screed” I picked up on a piece of paper at the Anfield-road ground on Boxing Day. It can’t be Secretary Watson’s.
True, he has been moody in manner of late as the “Melancholy Dame,” and I have caught him, at times, with a far-away look in his eyes, musing as he gazed at the club-house roof, mentally abstracted from his sordid surroundings; he is letting his hair grow, too, and wearing disgracefully dilapidated old clothes – all indications, I need hardly remind the discerning reader, of a poetic temperament.
But he has no need to contemplate suicide; Liverpool have done exceedingly well during the holidays; they have rehabilitated their reputation; as manager of the team he has restored his prestige, and regained the confidence of the crowd; so why choose the present auspicious moment to “shuffle off,” when the dark days of defeat – gone, I trust for ever – he could have done it amid universal applause?
(Lancashire Evening Post: December 30, 1899)