Category Archives: No Nay Never

NO NAY NEVER

& it’s No Nay Never,
No Nay Never No More
‘Til we play those blasted Rovers,
No Nay Never No More

I cannot remember who we played the first time I went to a game & don’t even remember who scored. I was very little & just stood with my mate, Kevin Waring, not seeing much but hearing a lot of noise. Then I got to the front of the Bee Hole end, up against the barrier that stopped you from falling onto the pitch, & looked in wonder at the different sections of the ground. The Cricket Field stand was straight across behind the other goal, the brand new Bob Lord stand was to my left & people were in their seats, but my eyes were always pulled to the Longside stand. It seemed huge, with a roof on & one fence down the middle. The away fans were on the left side of the fence & on the right side stood the Burnley fans, packed in like refugees. You could walk from the Beehole stand all the way round to the fence. My eyes were always fixed on the fence & the two sets of fans on either side of it, their arms in the air pointing at each other, singing, chanting, swaying down in a wave effect. I was fascinated.

Andrew Porter


 

PREFACE

Pretiumque et Causa Laboris

Being fortunate enough to be born in the Lancashire town of Burnley I am the proud inheritor of a football club with the greatest of traditions. The town’s populace has been devoted fans from the off, their club being one of the founding members of the Football League, & together they have embraced every pleasure the game can invoke. Burnley FC has won each of the four divisions, lifted the FA Cup & as champions represented the country in Europe. On the flip-side, the Clarets have been defeated cup finalists & championship runners-up; then relegated numerous times including a plummet to the depths of the old Fourth Division when only a last day victory prevented us from falling out of the league altogether.

Burnley Football Club is in my blood – well, if you’re from Burnley it just has to be. I bleed Claret & Blue. My first ever match at Turf Moor was a 7-0 drubbing of Rotherham United, & since that fun beginning watching the Clarets has supplied me with a plethora of feelings & emotions. I remember one time going to an away game on my own at Selhurst Park. Burnley won 2-1, & on the train to the South Coast, where I was living at the time, I met a fellow Claret & we got chatting. The crux of the conversation was that, however Burnley were doing at the time, it mattered; & each result affected your week. No escape. I also remember overhearing some Palace fans leaving the stadium pipe, ‘I can’t believe we lost to those,’ & there is something about Burnley’s place in the Football world that many cannot understand. A small town club like mine should not be meeting the football aristocracy on a level playing field, but the season just gone has re-secured our place in a game we practically invented. So with burgeoning pride I have turned the club’s history to verse, bound intrinsically with the famous terrace chant of my fellow devoted: ‘No Nay Never No More!’

Prelude

On Saturday afternoon last, Burnley & Astley Bridge met on the ground of the former at Calder Vale, to contest in the first round of the Lancashire Challenge Cup. Astley Bridge had it all their own way throughout, & won the game eight goals to none. A large company assembled to watch the match. This is the first year the Burnley club has played association rules.

Burnley Express (18-10-1882)

1
Since the days of wooden rattles
Burnley’s loved its footy battles,
& its workplace tittle-tattles
Bettin’ wages on the score;
Underneath those ever fat hills
Kissing clouds upon the moor,
Is the club we all adore.

2
Well, mi name is Damian Bullen
& mi loyalty’s a full ‘un
& I’ve sang for Jimmy Mullen
From the Longside at Turf Moor,
Weather shining, shite & sullen,
Always Claret to the core,
Only now & evermore.

3
Burnley born & born a poet,
Aye, & mate I bloody know it,
So I thought that I would show it
Because what’s a poet for?
But to sing about their passions,
So with pride I join the roar
Of, ‘No, Nay, Never No More…’

4
You might think this out of order
But I was an Accy Roader
& mi mum could not afford a
Ticket for me down Turf Moor;
So I snuck in with the players
About an hour or so before
They’d unlock the turnstiles’ door.

5
Where I read Roy of the Rovers,
Tannoys practicing voiceovers,
Kissing all mi lucky clovers
Hid behind a toilet door;
Then moved up to the Bob Lord
When the first Longsiders roar,
Skennin’ on the ground with awe.

6
I was well & truly smitten,
By the Burnley bug was bitten,
Like a freshly mewing kitten
Flicking marbles with a paw,
From the seat where I was sittin’
I could hear the Longside roar
Thro’, ‘No Nay Never No More…’

7
Based upon the old ‘Wild Rover,’
Sung a trillion times over
In the boats twyx Cork & Dover,
Long sung staple of folklore;
When some handsome Casanova
Prances tho’ an alehouse door
To a debt forg’d years ago.

8
As he ask’d the bar for credit
The landlady laugh’d, ‘forget it,’
But as soon as she had said it
Shower’d on that alehouse floor
Golden coins, for he had med it
On his long, transglobal tour,
& he’ll never rove no more;

9
So sitting up or standing tall,
If going up or in freefall,
We Clarets always heed the call
To raise up, with a roar,
The greatest football song of all
The famed espirit de corps
Of, ‘No Nay Never No More…’

Act I: Warriors

All through the season in the North of England, football enthusiasts, some call them fanatics, subscribe some few pence a week to clubs, & today every big railway company in the land will be running special trains into the London termini, all full of people speaking strange tongues, & all wearing caps & many of them decked in the colours of the rival clubs. Whichever way it goes, Lancashire will hold t’fitba Cup for the year & that is something that those who visit the Palace this afternoon will tell the rest of the world in what will sound a strange & wonderful dialect to the average Cockney.
Daily Mirror (25-04-1914)

1
In the land o’ pit & spindle,
West o’ Leeds & south o’ Kendal,
‘Neath the lazy slopes o’ Pendle
In the hazy days of yore,
Charlie MacKintyre pings a
Lovely pass across the floor,
Albert Higginson must score!

2
Sends a shot across the cobbles,
Hits a kerb, ball ups & bobbles,
Goalie flounders as it wobbles
In off Mrs Wade’s front door,
All the happy lads & lasses,
Smiling as the miners score,
Sang, ‘No Nay Never No More…’

3
Tho’ Burnley was good rugby ground,
A better game it seem’d was found
To raise the local glory sound;
As proud, young sportsmen score,
How swiftly Burnley’s rugby clubs
Switch codes to full explore
Football’s flowering rapport.

4
With Olympia & Rangers
Were the Trinity, the Ramblers,
Hapton, Spring Hill & the Wanderers,
Haggate & Excelsior;
But then the true eponymous
That played upon Turf Moor
Growing harder to ignore!

5
Just a stone’s throw from the center
& an ha’penny to enter
The fine grandstand where a venter
Can anxieties outpour,
Legs feeling every tackle’s crunch,
Hearts missing beats & more
When the lads were set to score.

6
On swift heels has Burnley FC
Absorb’d the town’s hegemony,
Sending scouts throughout the country,
Players well provided for,
Producing those professionals
True amateurs abhor,
For the fans prefer top-drawer.

7
When McGregor of the Villa
Brought a dozen clubs together,
Mister Armistead of Brunshaw
Helps to form the football core;
Whom, on the train from Manchester,
As brown ale bottles pour,
Sang, ‘No Nay Never No More…’

8
Our lot mixed it up wi’ Accrington,
Preston, Darwen & Everton
Wolves, Bolton & the Albion,
With games & goals galore;
When every few new seasons
League men add a team of four,
Goal posts sprung from shore to shore.

9
The Board now searches to unearth
A manager of local birth,
With pedigree of proven worth,
Mind steep’d in footy lore;
Approaches Stanley’s John Howarth,
Who answers with firm jaw,
‘I’m the man to run Turf Moor.’

10
John Howarth brought in Bert Freeman,
His full backs; Halley, Boyle, Watson;
With goal kept by Jerry Dawson;
From the Star Stand’s posh décor
Folk watched a famous cup run,
Thro’ the polished turnstiles pour,
To electrical Turf Moor;

11
For by far the most exciting,
When the kick-offs felt like fighting
With our wild daydreams alighting
As the team pushed up to score;
The glory of the FA cup,
The magic of its roar
& ‘No Nay Never No More…’

12
With a semifinal sighted
We took on the Man United
As a fierce snow flurry flighted,
‘Cross the town to cloak Turf Moor;
A perfect pass invited,
A defender on the floor,
Arthur Ogden’s set to score.

13
So the Burnley boys did blast one,
But that goal it was the last one,
For the ref had pull’d a fast one,
Match abandoned! Gutted! Sore!
Of course we lost the rematch
When that bloody snow did thaw,
O! No Nay Never No More!

14
As our Halley, Boyle & Watson,
Bamford, Mosscrop, Taylor, Hodgson,
Nesbitt, Lindley & Bert Freeman
Gave opponents the what for;
We embarked upon a cup run
Like we’d never seen before
At a tantalized Turf Moor.

15
In the semi-final frantic
Striding like a wild gigantic,
Our Boyle unleashes lightning kick
Net shaking to the score;
& when the whistle blows the crowd,
Lifting him from the floor,
Sang, ‘No Nay Never No More…’

16
All Burnley was a phantom town,
For everyone had set off down
To see the Palace & the Crown
On the parliament’ry tour,
& as the match kicked off the ground
Was rafter packed & more,
For the final’s fiery war!

17
Dowsing Scousers with his sprinkler
Our Bert Freeman shot a twinkler,
Couldn’t take a master thinker,
Then, to see the final score;
The Reds lay siege until the jingling
Whistle starts the soar
Of, ‘No Nay Never No More…’

18
Our proudest captain, Tommy Boyle,
Splash’d head-to-toe in dust & soil,
Went up to meet the upmost royal,
His trophy set in store;
Then hoisted high the handles,
Greatest glory to the fore,
Only now & evermore.

19
By the time the town had got home,
They’d been up all night & then some,
But still made a famous welcome
From the Mitre to Turf Moor;
As little Bob Lord saw the cup
His heart was brimming oer,
To love Burnley, then, he swore.

20
Now being England’s champs them sent
An invite from the continent,
To strut their stuff, how innocent,
Those sunny days before,
The whole of Europe marching went
Into an unknown war,
To the mud, the blood & gore.

21
So, having batter’d Berlin’s best
Burnley buzz’d next to Budapest,
To battle Celtic in a test
That’s gone down in folklore,
The embryonical contest,
Full fifty years before,
Europe’s champions made war.

22
With pass & dribble, shout & shot,
Our Saxon flair oyning the Scot,
But no advantage there was got,
Agreein’ an encore,
To Lancashire green Hoops did trot,
To beat us down Turf Moor,
But by then had come the War.

23
The cup from Budapest was theirs,
But soon about it no-one cares,
Caught up in awful globe-affairs,
From Prague to Bangalore,
Both Lanky Lad & Weegie shares
Bloodshed the priests abhor,
Just as if they lived next door.

24
As the terraces grew silent
All the land found fresh excitement,
As the wealthy & the violent
Dragg’d the world into their war;
Suck’d from Austria & Cumbria,
Kiev & Baltimore –
& not one Christmas, but four!

25
With Kitchener the manager,
All the team muck’d in together,
But would lose the lofty Lorrimer
To a bullet in the jaw;
While in the trenches Burnley’s Pals,
To ease their freezing core,
Sang, ‘No, Nay, Never, No More…’

26
But, O, that swirl of empires caught
The Burnley folk, a town distraught
Its fair young flowers died & fought
The callous cost of war
Poor Hodgson, Brown & Pickering
No more shall hear the roar
Of, ‘No Nay Never No More…’

27
When final bloody tears are shed
Then towns are left to count the dead,
How empty looked the Scrattin’ Shed
First friendlies down Turf Moor;
Torpedoes back to meaty bread,
Old rituals restore,
Half-time Bovrils like before.

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

1
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.

2
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.

3
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!

4
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.

5
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.

6
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.

7
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!

8
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.

9
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…’

10
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!

11
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…’

12
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.

13
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.

14
‘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.

15
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.

16
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.

17
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.’

18
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.

19
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.

20
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!

21
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.

22
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…’

23
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.

24
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.

25
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…’

26
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.

27
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…’

Act III: Downfall

When last season’s FA Cup competition started, Tottenham Hotspur & Burnley were the favourites to reach Wembley. The odds against their both getting to the Final were great. One of the dangers was they would be drawn against each other in an early round. The year before they had met in the Semi-Finals. Spurs won, & went on to win the cup. This time they both reached the Semi-Finals again, & luckily the draw kept them apart.  So the dream final of Tottenham versus Burnley had become a reality.
The Boys Book of Soccer (1963)

1
With such glorious victory
Comes the responsibility
Of representing the country
In the European draw;
So off they flew to gay Paris,
All practicing ‘Bonjour,’
For a second Agincourt.

2
While old grognards blew unfestive,
Jimmy Mcllroy grew massive
As he played the Rheims team passive,
Beat them once & then once more;
Goals beam’d live to an Eng-er-land
Praising the Lanky roar
Of, ‘No Nay Never No More…’

3
Foemen for the quarter-final
Were the Germans, firm & vernal,
From yer corp’ral to yer colonel
Not a soul mentioned the war;
Hundreds of noisy klaxons
Had descended on Turf Moor,
When we slotted three past Schnoor!

4
As Lennon played a Hamburg pub
The Clarets played their football club,
But could not grasp the pitches rub
As Blacklaw let in four;
Yet through one hundred thousand cheers
Our boys sooth’d by the roar
Of, ‘No Nay Never No More…’

5
Then came the trip to White Hart Lane,
A sea of mud after the rain,
It seemed the end of our great reign,
Half time we’d let in four,
With, ‘Super Spurs!’ still ringing
Burnley closed the kit room door,
Pride in tatters on the floor.

6
Hold to the truth! Thro’ thick & thin!
Come watch that mad come-back begin,
When every time we stuck one in
The Lane could sense one more;
The full time whistle comes too soon,
The match poised at 4-4,
With the Clarets set to score.

7
So, the club maintained its bubble,
Set off charging for the double,
But the dream would turn to rubble,
Rattles crashing to the floor;
Spurs stole the cup, while Ipswich nick’d
A title from Turf Moor,
O! No Nay Never No More.

8
Not knowing then to stick or twist,
Bob Lord sold Burnley’s catalyst,
For Mcllroy must top the list
Of players from Turf Moor,
As off he went to Stoke the hissing
Folk of Burnley, sore,
Thro’ their season tickets tore.

9
But Burnley still a team to fear,
Maintains its place in the top tier,
When in the English World Cup year
Brought Europe to Turf Moor,
Where both Stuttgart & Lausanne Sports
First heard the Burnley roar
Of, ‘No Nay Never No More…’

10
Then the lads flew out to Italy,
To face the mighty Napoli,
Where our ‘God in a green jersey,’
Stood as strong as Sycamore,
& helps the lads thro’, courtesy
Of winning at Turf Moor;
As Vesuvius did roar,

11
The native fans chuck’d eggs & shoes,
Their stewards punched & hurled abuse,
Police tried arresting claret-blues
& bullying Blacklaw;
But men are men in Lancashire,
Tho’ head-kicked on the floor,
Up he jumps without a flaw.

12
To Germany they next did fly,
Where dreams of Europe hit the sky,
One-one in Frankfurt! But the tie,
Was lost back at Turf Moor;
Beginning the depression
That thro’ town & team soon tore,
Glory days would come no more.

13
For on a night without a friend,
The inexplicable happened,
When relegation was the end
Of life for evermore;
Fans whispering weird versions,
As noisy as semaphore,
Of, ‘No Nay Never No More…’

14
Any road, fans kept devotion
Hunting down a swift promotion,
Led by mop-haired Martin Dobson
Thro’ the fixture list we tore;
Play’d sixteen games without a loss,
Lads linking more & more,
Top flight status to restore.

15
Of all that team’s famous young names,
God bless our Taffy, Leighton James,
Who like an artist treats his games
With style not seen before;
Helping to win the title,
Soaking up the Longside’s roar
Of, ‘No Nay Never No More.’

16
With Burnley back in the top-flight
The Kippax & the Kop thought, “Shite!”
They know our boys won’t shun the fight,
Aye, they know we know the score;
The Stretford End, the old North Bank,
Leeds’ Scratching Shed & more,
All fear Burnley’s loyal core.

17
That day we took the Chelsea shed
Their Headhunters said we were dead,
No Claret blood that day was shed
Cockneys sprawl’d on the floor;
Scriking their eyes out as the granite
Of the Pennines roar
Thro’, ‘No Nay Never No More…’

18
The fans of lowly Wimbledon
Came to our stately stadium,
For the sale of Martin Dobson
Added grandeur to Turf Moor;
Where Bee-Hole, Bob Lord, Cricket Field
& Longside smugness wore,
Thought they’d cruise into round four.

19
But, shaming the First Division,
Respect powders to derision,
As a dodgy ref’s decision
Lost a cup tie to abhor;
Amateurs battling precision,
But the Clarets could not score
As dark clouds approach Turf Moor,

20
When by the drought of seventy-six
The first team could not make the mix,
The Board was running out of tricks,
So down we went once more;
But instead of getting down to fix
Things, things just worsened poor,
Dropping thro’ the next trap-door!

21
But up steps Billy Hamilton,
With him the Third Division won,
& soon they beat the Spurs four-one,
Then the Scousers down Turf Moor –
But the cost of all these cup runs
Was a wearying back four,
& fresh relegation sore!

22
In February, Eighty-Five,
I’d been about nine years alive
When memories in me survive –
My first game down Turf Moor –
When Rotherham put to the knives
By Burnley’s matador,
Seven-nil the final score.

23
That joy soon changed to, ‘Sack the board!’
John Bond was no new Robert Lord,
He sold the kids, a weary sword
Hover’d above Turf Moor;
That with a slice came down, & dropp’d
Us down Division Four
Where the long ball is the law.

24
These were the darkest days my friends,
When, as the Miners’ striking ends,
Defeat upon defeat descends
Us to the basement floor;
Where by the final, vital game
The Clarets must outscore,
Or be gone for evermore.

25
Remember Orient, a game
When tabloid rags & spreadsheets came
To drive a nail into our fame,
Last league match at Turf Moor!
Nerves jangling under every shot,
Hearts thumping more & more,
Neil Grewcock pops up to score!

26
Then a header from Ian Britton
Dismantles the demolition,
O! But what a bloody mission,
Nowt like anything before;
From death the lads had risen
To deserve our grateful roar,
Football thrilling to the core!

27
One hundred years since her first kicks
A club rose up, some bright phoenix,
Almost losing their football fix
Onto the pitch did pour
Full fifteen thousand in a mix,
Each one upstanding for
That defence of old Turf Moor.