Archive for October, 2009

Latest Boothen End Bard Poems – Ian Dyer

October 28th, 2009 No comments

Having championed the Boothen End Bard Ian Dyer from the start of his Stoke City poetry “career” I thought it fitting that I shared his new poems with you here.

These were all publicly premiered at the “Night with The Stoke City Legends” (see earlier blog and witnessed by the subjects of the poems. As each was read by Ian, the subject listened intently and to a man, they all shook him by the hand as they loved his poetic performance tributes to themselves.

I often think that seeing the Bard’s work in a written form detracts from experiencing his intense and passionate performance. If you do get a chance to witness him live and in full flow then don’t miss out.

The first up is Denis

Six foot two, eyes of blue, Denis Smith is after you

Six foot two, eyes of blue, Denis Smith is after you

He broke every bone in his body, so the legend goes
Came from Meir, never saw fear, put the wind up all Stoke’s foes
Six foot two, eyes of blue, Denis Smith is after you
Was the famous chant from the Boothen End crew
Heart of a lion, made from solid iron
If he was playing today, you couldn’t buy him
His bravery, fight and spirit, inspired one and all
As a kid, I’d swear to God that he was nine foot tall
One child from God, one of seven
I’m pretty sure Tony Waddingtons already booked his place in heaven
A lead by example City captain and centre half second to none
Denis Smith, Stoke’s number five and Meirs favourite son

© Ian Dyer

Next is Jackie Marsh
Fenton's Finest - Jackie Marsh

Fenton's Finest - Jackie Marsh

I remember Jackie Marsh, looking for his contact lense on Wembleys luscious grass
And putting Chelsea players on their cockney ass
I remember Jackie, straight in from the kick off like Kendo Nagasaki
Or racing down the right side, like a greyhound and he’d backed it
I remember you Marshy, always the life and soul of the party
And living the same lifestyle as your namesake Rodney
Yes I remember you John, another local hero that Waddo called a son

© Ian Dyer

Walks on water
Alan Hudson Walks on Water

Alan Hudson Walks on Water

He swaggered from The Old Kings Road, to the smoking chimneys of Stoke
He turned football into an art form, which endeared him to the potteries folk
One of the greatest talents to be squandered, he never knew how good he could have been
As I for one remember, one of the best I’ve ever seen
I watched on the television in nineteen seventy five
When on his debut for England, he dented German pride
Gunter Netzer called him world class, after he covered every blade of Wembley grass
He made the famous twin towers his own that night but what a crying shame
That because of Revies biass, he only started one more game
A true disciple of the working mans ballet, this man he could amaze, inspire, intrigue
Alf Ramsey had once said of him, there was no limit to what he could achieve
The fact that Waddo brought him to Stoke City, was a master stroke from that great man
A player not seen by the Boothen End, since the legendary Sir Stan
Oh how things could have been so different, if in the seventies football hadn’t liked a drink
Like Best, Huddy lost his way in the game and in the end it brought him to the drink
But for a time, like I sang it from the terraces and although the alcohol he’d slaughter
I promise you now, I’ve witnessed it, Alan Hudson walked on water

© Ian Dyer

Last but not least (the youngest of the four but the only one in black & white!)
Micky T
One Mickey Thomas, There's Only One Mickey Thomas

One Mickey Thomas, There's Only One Mickey Thomas

If ever young minds run free
Like five foot six of Welsh wizardry
What he coundn’t do with the ball at his feet
Whilst thousands in the stands, rose for him to greet
A will of the wisp, a tricky so and so
Only in stature did he ever grow
A fiery, true red dragon
Yet rarely on the wagon
There weren’t many doubting Thomas
And he never broke that promise
In the time it takes to count to ten
Micky could print you loads of them
Even when he went to jail, he had to break back in
He could astound you with his tricks
But ready to tackle like a tonne of bricks
And he scored his fair share of magic goals
Ask Seaman and the other keepers
That he made to look aresholes
So if ever young minds run free
Look no further than Micky T
© Ian Dyer
Please ask permission before reproducing Ian’s work, his full consent has been given to write this.
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The Boothen End Bard – Ian Dyer’s Stanley Matthews Video

October 21st, 2009 No comments
The Boothen End Bard – Ian Dyer, Stoke City Football Club’s un official poet  has had a you tube video created that combines the legendary Sir Stanley Matthews and his poetic tribute to the great man “The Wizard Of Dribble.”

The link to the video is
It shows Sir Stan playing in his final game and being carried aloft from the pitch at the end of the game by his fellow players. Ian’s words are played over the video and it adds a depth and appreciation to the archive footage. The wizard of the dribble can only be about one man, the closing line (which I won’t spoil for you) is a fitting tribute to the first global super star of football.. 

Dyer has released a charity CD, called One to Ten,

One to Ten available at

One to Ten available at

 containing 10 tracks all relating to Stoke City, it includes the classic “Fortress” which captures the feeling of Stoke’s return to the English Premier League for the first time in 23 years perfectly. £2 from every CD sold is donated to the Donna Louise Children’s Hospice Trust. 

We have also produced a T shirt of “The Fortress” that features the Brit with fortress turrets.

Fortress T shirt - two sided

Fortress T shirt - two sided

There is an option available to have the words of the poem printed on the back of the garment.

The full track listing is below:-

1                     One to Ten

2                     A Beautiful Friendship

3                     In The Blood

4                     Weapon

5                     Fortress

6                     One Single Man

7                     Wizard of the Dribble

8                     Futbo

9                     No Nouse

10                 Officially Labelled

His passion and belief shine through and are fantastically articulated. From the first line of One to Ten “How Do you feel now Stokie?” the grit grabs you and makes you want more. Dyer’s delivery is a familiar potteries tone, his dialect comes straight from the potbank especially in futba where the words like jaynes are used to describe trousers made from denim.

Treat yourself to something a little different, the short and sweet poems are mini masterpieces, from a man who bleeds red and white striped blood. You won’t be short of a little inspiration after you have listened to this.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags: supporting “Wear It Pink” Day

October 19th, 2009 No comments  backs “Wear it Pink” Day.



wear it pink




Proud Potters can help research the cure for Breast Cancer.

In conjunction with Breast Cancer Research,, the Premier Stoke T Shirt company, will be helping anyone who wants to take part in “Wear It Pink Day” on Friday October 30th and do their bit for Breast Cancer Research, by donating £2 from each Pink T shirt sold to charity.


Between now and next Wednesday, visitors to their online store will be able to choose any design and, provided it’s printed on a Pink Mens or Ladies T- shirt, will then donate £2 from the sale of each shirt to Breast Cancer Research who are researching the cure for the illness.


The T-shirts can then be worn by anyone taking part in Wear it Pink day at their workplace or school on Friday 30th October. If people haven’t already organised an event, they can register at and find out more about what’s involved. 


 “We wanted to help people participate in Wear it Pink Day and also show their pride in being Supporters of the finest Football Club in the World” says Simon Hancock of “In a way, we hope that our offer allows people to “double up” their donation to the charity”, he continues. “For each shirt sold, Breast Cancer Research will hopefully receive both our donation and the donation when our customers participate at their workplace or school”.


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Stoke City v West Ham United – Mystical Descent’s Matchday Review

October 19th, 2009 No comments

Stoke City v West Ham United

Saturday October 17th. 2009

Mystical Descent’s Matchday Review

First off, the ratings:

Sorensen – 6 – At fault for the goal, but made up for it with some safe hands.
Huth – 8 – Strong, reliable, powerful in the air, firm in the tackle.
Shawcross – 10 – MotM, I don’t know what more he could have done today, absolutely superb.
Faye – 6 – Not his best Stoke performance.
Collins – 7 – First competent game he’s had for Stoke.
Delap – 7 – Excellent job defensively and not his worst game on the ball either, but doesn’t offer as much on the right as Lawrence.
Diao – 8 – Where’ve we had this bloke from?
Whitehead – 7 – Perfectly reasonable game.
Etherington – 7.5 – Gave away possession a lot, but much better today, much more effective.
Beattie – 8 – Won a lot in the air but I never felt like he was pulling his weight. Can’t argue with 2 goals though.
Fuller – 9 – Superb performance, tore their defence to shreds.


Lawrence – 7 – Should have started.
Whelan – 6
Kitson – 6

Referee: 4 – The penalty was about the only thing he got right.

What a superficial beast the Premier League is. How long have we been told how wonderful West Ham are and how silky their football is? I’ll tell you what I saw out there – a shallow team that flattered to deceive. Lots of tippy-tappy football and a modicum of attacking flair, but absolutely no substance. We work on an intricate defensive system of covering, marking and responsibility. West Ham go out, tippy-tappy it, lose the ball, give the opposition lots of time to do what they want and fail to do any tracking back. Asides from Carlton Cole, who was excellent and who I would fully advocate making the England team ahead of Heskey and maybe even Davies, their team were very, very poor. What makes it all the worse is that they’re on the receiving end of eternal praise from all corners of the media and it really does sum up the superficial nature of the league today. They were typified by that number 32, Diamanti. A very, very mediocre player who looks reasonably comfortable on the ball but has no defensive ability and so resorts to cheating. Shawcross was booked for nothing. He was even a yard past Diamanti when Diamanti clutched his shin and audibly screamed like a little girl. How sad it was that the referee, instead of kicking him in the face and sending him off, indulged his precious little antics. What’s even worse, nobody will bat the slightest eyelid at it and soon enough he’ll be praised for his lovely tippy tappy again. It’s a sad, sad indicator of the modern values in football.

As for the game, I thought we were worth the win. Bizarrely, West Ham backed off us and gave us plenty of time on the ball and we started very well. Whitehead and Diao were putting in good challenges and ensuring that we kept possession, while Delap was actually managing to make a bit of a nuisance of himself on the right. A fantastic little move down the left between Collins, Fuller and Etherington led to the penalty and from where I was it looked like the right decision. A fine move and a perfect penalty from Beattie. Somebody tell the gutless Gerrard and Lampard that instead of tapping the ball straight into the goalkeeper’s hands in penalty shoot outs, all they need to do is smack it hard and high into the goal. Perfect technique that a lot of players could learn from.

After the goal, things got a little flat. I still felt that we were the better team but we sat back a little bit and weren’t creating anything. Delap was having constant chats with the physio about something and the bench were clearly concerned, but I thought we were still quite comfortable and West Ham looked a shambles. Then they won a corner, which I found strange as I thought that firstly it came off one of their players and secondly it went for a throw-in. Sorensen came for it and didn’t get it and somebody lost their man, who headed home comfortably. It was disappointing and we didn’t really get going again in the half.

Happily, when we came back out we were back in control of the game and I felt we dominated the midfield. However, Diao was on a booking and Beattie was looking increasingly tired. Were I the manager, it would have been Lawrence and Kitson on. Even so, we had our moments and we put together one good move in particular. We brought Lawrence on for the injured Delap, although as I’ve already said I’d have brought him on for Diao and moved Delap back inside, and his impact was as instant as ever. It invigorated us and almost instantly Diao (the subject of much criticism around me) played a good ball to Fuller who did his man for pace and trickery before getting his shot in. England’s number one then pulled off a real clanger and dumped the ball right in front of Beattie, who’d run an absolute mile to only just beat the defender to the ball. After that it was all Stoke and again pretty comfortable, we could and perhaps should have scored more as Fuller broke their lines again and again. Plenty of comedy as well, as we wheeled out more and more players with a long throw. Diao, Beattie and then Huth, fantastic stuff.

Now a mention for Whitehead and Diao. I thought they both had good games today. They kept the ball pretty well and won their fair share of balls as well. Whitehead has suffered an awful lot from being targeted by the Whelan mafia for providing a threat to Glenn Whelan, but I made a special point of watching him today and he put in a perfectly acceptable shift. They were particularly good at the start of the game, when they kept possession well and were consistently finding the wide players. Maybe it was because West Ham gave us much more space than every other team, but I didn’t have any real problem with them.

I’ve got to have one little moan though and it’s not one that I like having to make. I’m not a fan of criticising my fellow fans and I’m likely to get hammered for this, but we were very poor today and I don’t know what excuse everyone has? We got straight out of the blocks, took the lead and were looking very good, we just needed some extra backing from the fans to carry on the momentum. Instead, everyone just shut up, it was silent for most of the first half. Why? Apparently it’s a two way thing and the team did their bit. Do we now not make an atmosphere if its cold? If the manager doesn’t pick the team that we want to play? If the manager leaves out Tuncay or Whelan? I’m sorry, but after all the people who responded to Pulis’ rallying letter saying ‘the fans will respond if you give us something to shout about’ it was a real blot on the day. Perhaps worst of all was when we put together a decent second half move involving most of our players, including Whitehead, Diao and Delap. I can’t remember what happened but there was half a chance and the ball went out for a goal-kick, but instead of urging the team on further or offering encouragement, the fans just chanted for Whelan. Glenn bloody Whelan. Not Kitson. Not Tuncay. Not Lawrence, who came on and changed the game. Glenn bloody Whelan. Absolutely ridiculous. I seriously hope we pull our collective finger out of our collective arse for the next home game and make the ground properly intimidating.

I don’t want to end on a negative note though after what was a good performance and a well deserved win. We shouldn’t finish below West Ham next season at the very least.

A good win, very proud of the team and here’s to a week of shutting the fuck up about Tuncay! ;)



A Night With The Legends of Stoke City FC

October 13th, 2009 No comments

I attended the Stoke City Legends Night at The Red House pub in Longton last night and had a great night. The night was organised as a fundraiser for Jackie Marsh and his chosen charity the Heart Foundation and was quickly sold out when tickets were advertised on the Oatcake messageboard. The Legends in attendance were Denis Smith, Alan Hudson, Jackie Marsh and Mickey Thomas.

red house longton

The Redhouse

The Red House has been taken over by Ben and Mike Dyer and they have spent serious time, effort and money converting it into a Stoke City Theme Pub with the lounge displaying a fantastic collection of football memorabilia.



Red House Mural Cup WinnersThe beer garden has also been given a Stoke City makeover by artist Jane Cooper who has painted a fantastic mural of Stoke legends including Denis Smith, Sir Stanley Matthews, the two Tony’s (Waddington and Pulis), Mickey Thomas and the League Cup Winning Squad. The detail in the paintings is breath taking and Jane is a truly Fantastic artist. There is also a genuine Boothen End Turnstile from the Victoria ground on display. The Red House is definitely worth a visit if you are in the area just to see the mural and turnstile. It’s as close as the City has got to being a Stoke City museum with the memorabilia on display.



1972 League Cup mural

Jayne Cooper Artist Red House Mural


 Jayne Cooper – Artist of the Mural

The night started at 7 with the screens in the pub showing the 72 Cup final, as guests arrived. At 8pm the audience and legends moved to the beer garden to officially unveil the mural. Denis, Jackie and Mickey all signed their pictures, and willingly posed for photos with various guests.

The banter between the ex players was started early on. When Radio Stoke’s Nigel Johnson was introducing the format of the night he re-collected the interview he did with Jackie two days after his triple heart bypass. He said it was one of the most difficult jobs he had done as Marshie had to wear an oxygen mask and it was hard to make out what he was saying. Denis piped up with a comment that “That makes a change, he used to pretend he couldn’t hear me when I was telling him get back to cover!”  and that set the wisecracks flowing throughout the night.

The night was then split into an interview/ Q&A format with Denis being first up,  interviewed by Nigel Johnson. Nigel didn’t really have to ask much of Den as he spoke candidly about his time with Stoke, from joining the club as a young player, through his career,  to his eventual departure into management at York City. One of the stories that made everyone smile was when he was asked about the two Tony’s and how their styles differed. Denis said that they are both very different managers, Waddo would very rarely venture onto the training ground, leaving Frank Mountford to do all the coaching, while Tony Pulis is very much a tracksuit manager and players know what is expected of them, with a tight rein kept on discipline. One of Waddington’s ex Manchester United players, who shall remain nameless, was quoted as saying “I don’t like it here Den, there are no rules to break!”  Denis then shouted “that’s right in’t it Huddy!”


Next up was a break to socialise with the legends who were very accommodating by answering lots of requests to sign photos, etc.

Then Ian Dyer – the Stoke City poet took to the stage. His poetry was delivered with his usual passion and desire. Ian had written new poems for each of the Legends in attendance and every one of them got up and thanked Ian personally. It was lapped up by the audience and the room stood as one at the end of his set to give the Boothen End Bard a standing ovation.


Mickey Thomas was next up interviewed by Ben Dyer. Mickey had the room in stitches when he answered Ben’s first question of “when were you first picked up?” with a reply of “when I was 11,……. shoplifting in Colwyn Bay!!” That set the tone for the interview which nearly got serious when he said “Guess which the best team I ever played for was? We were unbeaten for 18 months away from home.” Ben was intrigued as he pondered, thinking was it Manchester United, Brighton, Chelsea, Stoke City, Derby County, Leeds United, Everton, etc. “1993-94 –  Walton Prison FC” came Mickey’s response and laughter filled the room once again.

Mickey Thomas






Mickey Thomas and Ben

 The charity auction then took place with some excellent pieces available. Signed books donated by David Lee and Stephen Foster fetched tidy sums with Jackie Marsh getting more stick from Denis and Huddy about his ability to read after buying “you could’ner make it up.” We ( donated a Longthrow mug signed by Rory Delap, which raised £50 and a replica No. 5 1972 shirt which Denis signed, this raised £130. A limited edition print “Oatcakes and Chayse before the match” by Sid Kirkham, donated by The Artbay, fetched in a staggering £250. Other items included a signed Stoke City shirt from Tony Pulis’s first stint at the club and an Abdoulaye Faye canvas. Longthrow Mug Signed by Rory Delap










The signed Longthrow Mug

Alan Hudson and Jackie Marsh closed the night with a Q&A session that involved much banter, particularly about pubs and alcohol!


Denis Smith with his Smith shirt











Did I mention Denis and his Stoketshirt?


The event was a cracking night for Stokies, at a great venue raising over £1300 for a good cause.

 Let’s get more of them on soon!

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Messageboard mania – PHWs and Rimmers

October 3rd, 2009 No comments

A piece written exclusively for by former A View to a Kiln Editor Anthony Bunn following the Stoke City vs. Manchester United game.

Well, the Stoke messageboards have certainly been back to their Anti (PHWs)/ Pro (Rimmers) Pulis best this week, haven’t they?

“Amazing what a 2-0 loss to the World Champions will do to the mentality of some Stokies”, say the Rimmers, whilst those still in shock from last Saturday aren’t particularly too bothered about who it is we actually played. The truth?

Well, once again, that probably lies somewhere in the middle, but I was completely pig-sick of what happened on the pitch last Saturday, and despite being up against one of the bet teams in Europe, I’m starting to get a little worried about how we set up last week.

Nobody expects the Potters to go out all gung-ho against any team, certainly not one of the big four. But there’s a difference between that and actually looking to want to get in the other team’s half of the pitch.

For the record, I felt United were ordinary by their standards last Saturday. But hey, why sweat blood when you can win by not even taking the handbrake off. I commented to a mate on the way back to the Mich last week that the very least that Ferguson (and I) expected was for United to be pushed all the way and for old red cheeks to be moaning in the Sunday media about how he’d got several injury doubts before their game against Wolfsburg.

That’s not to say I wasn’t players injured (ahem), but I certainly want our players to live up to our “Big, Bad, Stoke” reputation. A reputation I certainly think is unjustified as we have some passengers who don’t put a tackle in, eh Mr Etherington?

4-5-1 and that’s what it was, however you dress it up, soon became 8-1-1, with Scholes doing whatever he liked, our midfield virtually in our defence’s DNA, and Etherington doing very little in a position that should have been tailor-made for a certain Turkish international captain!

I felt sorry for Dave Kitson, who needed a periscope to spot his nearest team mate. Last Saturday was a day when the mercurial talents and work of a certain Mr Fuller were needed more than ever, and a sure-fire slap in the chops for those who somehow still refuse to see what he brings to us.

No, last Saturday was not a good day. Take away your opinion of the team we were up against – and United’s superb second half display off the pitch put paid to a few of the stereotypes about their supposed lack of real support – and the plain facts are that we bottled it big-time.

The manager got the team selection and tactics horribly wrong. Collins looked like a rabbit in the headlights again and Huth despite total commitment is not a right back. Not when we have a right back who hasn’t done much wrong this season and kept Ashley Cole in his pocket, in Wilko.

Whitehead and Whelan still don’t do it for me, whilst Lenny and Rory worked hard but were ultimately doomed to unsupported failure.

Beatts looked a shadow of the player we had last season, even before his injury, and we need Fuller fit and starting EVERY game for us to progress. Which brings me to Tuncay Sanli.

The Man United game and how we set up, was a perfect opportunity to pick the lad, but we went with the known rather than the unknown. To progress, somewhere down the line we have to start keeping hold of the ball. To do that, we have to play our best players.

TP now faces a new problem. We have a quality player who is totally unlike anyone that he’s had in the squad before. Somewhere in a team of artisans, we need an artist to take us to the next level, or even reach last year’s level.

Not a good day at the office, but in TP we have to trust. He’s earned the right to baffle us and confuse us and make us tear our hair out. But what I don’t want to EVER see again at our ground is OUR manager bigging-up THEIR team on a huge screen, 10 minutes before the game.

Perhaps after watching that I should have walked back down the steps of Block 23 and returned back to the Plough for more anaesthetic?!?!