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August 29, 2019






The Club we’ve supported

since a child at the knee,

of fathers and grand-dads,

who were so thrilled to be


taking us to our first game,

complete with scarf and bob hat.

‘Up The Shakers’, they chanted,

and we were hooked after that.


A Club to be proud of,

with a pitch like no other –

once likened to the old Wembley,

and Family Stand loved by, each sister & brother.


And the best pies in Lancashire,

sold at Half -Time.

Please God, help save the Club –

to lose it, would be a crime.


The unfairness, the injustice,

that has brought the Club down,

just after promotion – our big chance,

to win more support in the town.


The irony, the sadness,

felt by players, staff and fans,

as a new horizon appeared,

but was snatched from our hands.


Not for the first time,

were our highs met by lows,

and resilience tested,

by the cruelest of blows.


A heart-breaking situation –

please don’t let our Club die?

and become another statistic,

leaving us high and dry.


Another uphill battle,

to now seize control,

doesn’t help our heroes,

who now face the dole.


Our support for Bury Football Club,

can’t be in vain .

After the best season in ages,

Dear Lord – please save Gigg Lane.



written by

Harriet Blackbury.


Post tags:

June 9, 2019



In 80, ‘Running Free’, peaked at No.34.

and in 82, ‘Run To The Hills’, made a Top 7 sigh.

Both these songs coming from Iron Maiden,

and both recorded on EMI.


In 89, ‘Runnin Down A Dream,’ was at No.55,

for Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, on MCA.

And in 93, ‘Runaway Train’, on Columbia,

saw Soul Asylum, land a No.7 stay.


In 79, ‘Bat Out Of Hell’, on Epic,

for Meat Loaf, peaked at No.15.

And in 93 – a hit again for Meat Loaf,

this time at No.8, also on Epic, was seen.


In 94, ‘Let’s Face The Music & Dance’ –

a Top 30, on EMI, for Nat King Cole.

And in 98, ‘Runaground’, a Top 30 for James, on Fontana,

followed his No.38 hit of 90 -‘Lose Control’.


In 65, ‘Keep On Running’, on Fontana,

took The Spencer Davis Group to the No.1 spot.

And in 67, ‘You Keep Running Away’, on Tamla Motown,

reached No.26 for The Four Tops.


In 65, ‘Hang On Snoopy, on Immediate,

was a US. No.1 and UK No.5, for The McCoys.

And in 80, The Stray Cats, on Arista,

had a No.9 with ‘Runaway Boys.’


In 60, ‘Running Bear’, on Mercury,

gave Johnny Preston a US & UK No.1.

And in 85, ‘Running Up The Hill’, on EMI,

for Kate Bush, made sure a Top 3 was won.


In 80, ‘Runnin With The Devil’, on Warner Brothers,

found Van Halen at No.52.

And in 83, ‘Running With The Night’, on Motown –

a No.9, for Lionel Richie, was to be.


In 71, ‘Run Baby Run’, on London,

for The Newbeats, made the Top 10 scene.

And in 99, ‘Run For Your Life’, on Global Talent,

by Northern Line, peaked at No.18.


In 78, ‘Run For Home’, on Mercury,

found Lindisfarne in The Top 10.

And in 65 and 69, ‘Nowhere To Run’, on Tamla Motown, a hit,

for Martha Reeves & The Vandellas, and in 88, again, on A & M.



by Harriet Blackbury



Post tags:

November 21, 2018


From Room Number 1 rang out

Roxy Music’s ‘Dance Away’

for the umpteenth time

on that very first day.


And then from Ultravox

along with Midge Ure –

‘Sleepwalk’ and ‘Passing Strangers’

the neighbourhood had to endure.


The Box Room by the front door

was a Boomtown Rat zone,

and also heard was Blondie

‘Hanging on the telephone’.


And just as one’s sanity –

it was simply impossible to recall,

came, full blast along the corridor

Pink Floyd’s ‘Another brick in the wall’.


Meanwhile, across the landing,

as the windows shook, came Queen,

and also the dulcet tones

of U.S. soul singer, Al Green. 


And Ian Dury’s Rhythm Stick’

and Herbie Hancock’s ‘I Thought It Was You’,

had the whole place rocking,

as another gasket blew.


Then the Manager paid a visit,

humming Roger Whittaker’s ‘Durham Town’,

which definitely for a minute or two

calmed the household down.


And the bathroom always in use,

as an occupant soaked up Billy Paul,

whilst Eagle-loving ‘Desperado’s’

queued impatiently down the hall.


And Marvin Gaye – in all his brilliance,

didn’t stand a chance,

with Billy Joel’s ‘My Life’ on repeat –

causing a frenzied trance.


Then Carole Bayer Sager from the kitchen

announced, ‘You’re moving out today’,

as some demanded squatters rights,

with Odyssey paving the way.


Then suddenly came silence,

and normality was restored –

A whole new world beckoned,

and had to be explored.


as some contracts not renewed,

whilst other players were transferred,

and from rooms once filled with vinyl,

now only silence could be heard.


And as the keys turned in the locks,

after everyone said goodbyes,

quite fittingly on their car radios, 

Art Garfunkel sang ‘Bright Eyes’.


Written by

Harriet Blackbury.


and can be read in Issue 63  (page 46) of

backpass – The Retro Football Magazine.

Post tags:

September 26, 2018



Backpass 61 will be available from October 2018 (£4.70),

on the shelf or to order from all good newsagents,

and can also be bought on line at


( A perfect Christmas present for Dad or Grandad)

and features:

Alan Hudson on Chelsea’s 1970 FA Cup winners.

Liverpool from 1945 – 1970.

Paul Heaton’s (of The Housemartins and Beautiful South)

Sheffield United Dream Team.

Top ten bosses of the 1960s and  1970s.

plus  Interviews with 

Archie Gemmill, Dennis Mortimer, Steve Melledew, and Dick Edwards.

and also

Programme Plus, Classic Kits, Bookshelf, Obituaries,

and much more.  

Also in Issue 61 – the poem – ‘Football Club Nicknames’

written by Harriet Blackbury



Post tags:

July 6, 2018



and there he was, threading his way

through Saturday morning shoppers –

his gait recognizable, so handsome,

so utterly masculine, and yet so lost.

Could he find me in a crowd? 

absolutely not!

So I stand on a discarded bus ticket 

to make myself taller, and wave 

my hand frantically to attract his

attention. Eventually he spots me

and moves to cross over the road.

He smiles as he mounts the pavement.

I return his smile and ask him if he

remembered to get some onions, and he

says I never mentioned any onions to him,

so we cross back over the road, and

go into the greengrocers, and buy

some onions and cherry tomatoes,

and then continue on home to

watch Footy on TV.

What Bliss ! 



Post tags:

March 17, 2017



At No.1 in 61 singing ‘Runaway’,

Del Shannon took to the floor.

‘Run To The Sun’ sang Erasure

decades later – reaching No.6 in 94.


‘Keep On Running’, a No.1,

for The Spencer Davis Group in 65,

and ‘Keep Moving’ in 99 also,

a No.1 for the UK male group – Five.


At No.4 in 71, Tami Lynn sang

‘I’m Gonna Run Away From You’,

and ‘Run To Me’ by The Bee Gees,

their 7th Top Ten, coming in 72.


‘Run Baby Run’ by The Newbeats,

a hit of 71, making No.10.

In 95 Sheryl Crow’s hit ‘Run Baby Run’

a different song she helped to pen.


At No.34 with ‘Running Free’ in 80,

Iron Maiden hit the scene,

& ‘Running Free (Live)’ saw Iron Maiden

in 85 reaching No.19


Their ‘Run To The Hills’, in the Top 10,

in both 82 and 2002,

and ‘Run To The Hills (Live)’ in 85

also giving Iron Maiden a Top 30 pew.


In 80 ‘Running With The Devil’ by Van Halen

followed by ‘Jump’ in 84 – their first Top 10,

also ‘Running With The Night’ in 84,

saw Lionel Richie with his 4th Top 10.


In the charts of 61, Roy Orbison,

at No.9 with ‘Running Scared’.

The year after ‘Only The Lonely’ –

his first No.1, some fans preferred.


‘Running Up The Hill’, in 85,

got Kate Bush to No.3,

and ‘Run To You’ found Bryan Adams

at No.11, as fans screamed gleefully.


In 79, Meatloaf meant business,

singing like a ‘Bat Out Of Hell’ – I’ll be gone.

And with ‘Running In The Family’, in 87,

at No.6, Level 42 shone.


In 80, along came ‘Runaway Boys’,

getting The Stray Cats to No.9.

and ‘Run For Home’ by Lindisfarne in 78,

their 3rd hit to cross the Top 10 line.




Whether running away or towards something –

be it up hills or running down dales.

Or round in circles, never getting anywhere,

and feeling like a ship without sails.


No matter how tiresome your journey,

or how heavy your old knapsack,

just point your head towards the future,

and keep on running and don’t look back.





Post tags:

July 9, 2016




Close your eyes and ‘Listen To The Music’

by The Doobie Brothers, & you’re back in the Bar,

of Manchester’s hottest night club,

co – owned by the No 1 Footballing star.


‘Take Me In Your Arms’, another Doobies favourite,

then later, ‘What A Fool Believes’ coming in 79,

and with ‘Rock The Boat’ by The Hues Corporation.

Life was so happening and fantastically fine.


‘Long Tall Glasses’ supplied by Leo Sayer,

and ‘One Man Band, also in 74.

‘When I Need You’, his No 1 of 77;

a hit with couples, on every dance floor.


‘Sad Sweet Dreamer’ by Sweet Sensation

another brilliant 74, Number One.

And ‘Rock Your Baby’ at No.1 for George McCrae,

in this year when Slack Alice, second to none.


‘(Win Place Or Show) She’s A Winner’ –

in 74, gave The Intruders a top 20 fit.

when ‘Georgy Girl’, in Washway Road, Sale,

reminded us of The Seekers, much earlier hit.


‘Summer Breeze’ by The Isley Brothers,

their top 20 hit of the day.

then ‘Harvest For The World’ two years later,

when life still perfect, in every way.


‘Don’t Stay Away Too Long’, in 74,

had Peters & Lee fans tapping their feet.

And ‘All Of My Life’ by Diana Ross,

a fitting song, for this Manchester retreat.


Slack Alice will never be forgotten:

What joy, when to Bootle Street, we all strode.

And for those with a stronger constitution;

The Embassy Club, was just up the road!



Post tags:



‘Rubber Bullets’ and ‘Wall Street Shuffle’

came from Stockport Band – 10cc.

and ‘Giving It All Away’ was Roger Daltrey

without The Who, in 73.


Also in this year, ‘Walk On The Wild Side’

by the lovely, late Lou Reed.

And ‘Stop, Look, Listen (to your heart)’,

Diana Ross and Marvin Gaye did plead.


‘You Make Me Feel Brand New’ by The Stylistics,

and ‘Midnight At The Oasis’, from Maria Muldaur.

and ‘Albatross’ from Fleetwood Mac,

guaranteed a fab night, for sure.


‘When Will I See You Again’ sang The Three Degrees.

‘Ring Ring’ from Abba, came the reply.

‘Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me’,

sang Elton John, as we waved our goodbye.


Whatever the era you lived through;

be it The Ritz or Mr Smiths, your feet found,

or the meeting place of the moment,

when none better, than Rowntrees Sound!


Or if Top Of The Town, your favoured venue,

and Takis along Oxford Road.

Or the infamous Oasis in Lloyd Street –

your much loved, borrowed abode.


The Swingin Sixties saw Manchester Buzzin

and through the 70’s, still heart and soul…..

And Slack Alice gained a welcome brother,

when Oscars, saw the dice roll.  





Post tags:

June 5, 2016



 ‘Ossie’s Dream’ sang Tottenham Hotspur

keeping ‘81’ FA Cup dreams alive.

‘Here We Go’ sang Everton FC

with Howard, back in 85.


Going it alone in song,

in 87 were Chris & Glenn.

Their ‘Diamond Lights’ at No.12,

just missing out on the top ten.


‘Glory, Glory Man United’

reached 13 in the charts in 83,

but with ‘Come on The Reds’, in 94

finally at No.1 was Manchester Utd FC.


In 72. came ‘Blue Is The Colour’

making it to No.5  for Chelsea FC

In the 90’s, ‘No one can stop us now’ & ‘Blue Day’

and then ‘Blue Tomorrow’, in 2000, finally.


In 78, ‘We’ve got the Whole World in our hands’

sang Nottingham Forest FC & Paper Lace.

In 70 ‘Back Home’ No.1 for the England World Cup Squad.

And in 90, ‘World in Motion’, again taking a No.1 place.


‘Anfield Rap (Red machine in full alert)

in 88  shot up to No. 3 in this chart mix,

then ‘Pass & Move (It’s The Liverpool Groove)

reached No.4  by The Boot Room Boys of 96.


So many more songs to choose from;

some more in tune than others.

But the sentiment always the same,

Footy folk, a solid band of sisters & brothers.





Post tags:

May 30, 2016



There’s The Shaymen and The Silkmen,

and many clubs called The U’s.

There’s The Shrimps and The Shrews,

and lots of clubs called The Blues.


There’s Railwaymen and Tractorboys,

and The Brewers and The Shots.

There’s The Cobblers and The Glovers,

and The Red Devils with the hots.


There’s The Spurs and The Gunners,

and The Toon Army and The Tykes,

and The Hammers and The Potters,

and The Pilgrims taking hikes.


There’s the Rams and The Wolves,

and The Eagles and The Seagulls.

There’s The Mariners and The Owls,

and The Saints and The Gulls.


There’s The Shakers and The Trotters,

and The Cherries and The Tangerines.

There’s Pompey and there’s Posh,

and Canaries in yellows and greens.


There’s The Black Cats and The Tigers

and The Hatters and The Dale.

There’s The Bluebirds and The Wanderers,

and The Terriers and The Vale.


There’s The Baggies and The Toffeemen,

and many called The Claret and Blues.

There’s Donny and there’s Palace,

and many more I could chose.


Whatever club our inclination:

Whichever club holds dear, our heart,

we’ll stick with through the ages,

til the day that we depart.


Whether riding high in the top flight,

or in the family leagues below,

Football is our Saviour,

and the game we all love so.


Written by Harriet Blackbury



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