Act II: Champions

Lord was far from popular with the football cognoscenti, but he got things done and in some ways, was quite a visionary… it was Lord who led the movement in football to appoint a team manager to take care of team selection – up until then, directors bought and picked players. Lord also transformed Turf Moor into one of the most comfortable grounds of the 1960s, although if the under-seat heating hadn’t proved so expensive in one of the new stands, prompting Lord to switch it off, Burnley fans would have been sitting in the lap of luxury!
Stephen Tudor

With treaties whipped up down Versaille
Back came league fixtures & cup-tie,
So Burnley’s board opted to buy
A man they knew could score;
Soon Scotland’s great Joe Anderson
Was scoring goals galore,
After such an awful war.

That first year back play’d with aplomb,
But missing out to old West Brom
Next season saw us lurch bottom,
Three losses left us raw;
But digging deep we won a game,
Then t’ward the summit sore,
Turfites thro’ the turnstiles pour.

Folk turn’d out stormblast, fog & rain
As thirty games the lads did reign
Unbeaten, thro’ a grand campaign,
Spurr’d on by fandom’s roar,
When all who watched the team
Would claim them, since the days of yore,
The best the world e’er saw!

The title clinch’d at Everton,
A sweet shot from Joe Anderson
Sent that silver trophy on her
Maiden Sailing to Turf Moor;
Led by an army band with horns
& drums & pipes galore,
With the club flag to the fore.

As things go up so things go down,
Tho’ Burnley had won full renown
For football’s beauty, town-to-town,
With play we all adore,
The team began to break-up,
Time rakes on that fractured core,
Creaking joints & saddle sore.

Then the cotton turn’d to kindling,
& the gates they started dwindling,
& the keeper started fumbling
With this strange, new offside law,
& the Clarets started tumbling,
Relegation’s rumbling maw,
Ah! No Nay Never No More.

There came a game we had to win,
But our best striker’d hurt his shin,
So Burnley moved their winger in,
Who reckon’d six goals he’d score!
So, with a hat-trick in each half
Thro’ poor Birmingham tore,
Louis Page for evermore!

In the decade of the Arsenal,
When our ground was barely half-full,
When the ginnels copp’d an earful
Of the Longside’s concrete floor –
The game was growing quicker, slicker,
Thrills & spills galore;
Only not quite at Turf Moor.

Aye, the thirties were a struggle,
When the club was in a bubble
Neither flying nor in trouble,
Neither brilliant nor poor
Just a single semi-final played
To make the Turfites roar
Their, ‘No Nay Never No More…’

Then the atmosphere grew sour
As the Nazis came to power,
O, it was a desp’rate hour,
Much more nasty than before;
Watching the county’s flower
Marching stoically to war,
& no footy down Turf Moor!

All in the mud, the blood, the tears,
Our footballers shared soldiers’ fears,
When bullets end budding careers
What were they fighting for?
So Burnley fans in future years
Could safely join the roar
Of, ‘No Nay Never More…’

When the global wars were over
A young Claret docked at Dover,
Stood blessing his four-leaf clover
That he had survived the war;
Gave ration coupons to the team,
Tho’ war had left him poor,
For his footy matters more.

All his hopes were soon rewarded,
For his forces wage afforded
Tickets for a night-train boarded
All those cup-ties, shore-to-shore;
When in the semi Liverpool
Reminded of the score
That had won our cup before.

‘Twas a magical assembly
When the town went back to Wembley,
When the stadium resembled the
Coliseum of yore;
But as Charlton nicked a winner,
To the gods the lads implore
As the Turfite throats sung sore.

But that year they’d won promotion,
Masterminded by Cliff Britton
Who’d flung up an ‘Iron Curtain’,
Jimmy Strong & his back four;
Atwell, Mather – ever certain –
Brown & Woodruff bolt the door –
Twenty games to nil the score.

Then Bob Lord, a Lowerhouse butcher,
Bought the club & brought together
Robson, Adamson & Miller,
Formed a model football corps;
Convinced Mcllroy & Pilkington,
MacDonald & Blacklaw,
Football’s soul lay with Turf Moor.

From plushest seat up in the stand
Lord overawed with iron hand,
Built Gawthorpe for to train his band,
Set youth systems in store,
& on the Longside built a roof
To amplify the roar
Of, ‘No Nay Never No More.’

This pugnacious, autocratic,
Unsalacious, automatic
& insatiable fanatic,
Like a Ceasar on the shore,
Had envision’d an emphatic
Empire, lord of all he saw,
When his whims, to him, were law.

The fifties were a great decade,
Where fluid football was display’d,
Alas, each time the charge did fade
While threat’ning to do more;
But then the team click’d into place,
As all around Turf Moor
You could sense when we would score.

Mi grandad went on all these games,
Remembers all them sacred names
Which flicker in his dreams like flames,
The best he’d ever saw;
When Jimmy Mac, he always claims
Was Messi’s best, & more,
Our miracle meteor!

Aye, he’s our top man, Jimmy Mac,
The maestro of the fast attack;
A pass came to him from half-back,
Feet baffling on the floor,
Defenders flatt’ning on their back,
Broke every football law,
Name revered for ever more.

From Old Trafford to Saint Andrews,
Yer White Hart Lane, yer Molineuxs,
& Ewood (whose team were no use),
From palace to shop floor,
Men sensed that destiny was fusing
With the tribal roar
Of, ‘No Nay Never No More…’

Bob Lord call’d in delousers
When those hordes of roaring Scousers
Left their filthy, flea-pit houses
For his temple down Turf Moor;
Where knock-kneed Cockney, Geordie
Brummie, Taffy, Manc & more –
All they hoped to do was draw.

Of all the clubs Burnley have played
There’s still one team the most afraid,
I think it’s that passion displayed
Every time the Clarets score;
Aye, none of us our shirt would trade
For a zillion or more,
To share the Ewood eyesore.

Aye, them blasted Rovers sure aint hip,
Playing in such a stupid strip,
Where chippy teacakes gives us gyp,
& pies are bloody raw;
Where fans in stupid accent rip
Thro’ versions cats could craw,
Of, ‘No Nay Never No More…’

As Barlick, Hapton, Accy Road
Descends upon a packed Maine Road,
Just one last win would now accord
The Championship’s awe;
So City raised their game helped by
That massive Manky roar –
One-a-piece it seemed we’d draw.

But cheering skies fill with cloth cap,
Meredith whacks a thunderclap!
Wee Burnley slams back on the map
As the ref blows all is oer;
When following the trophy
To its new home at Turf Moor
Rang, ‘No Nay Never No More…’

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