Captain’s Message

I’ve written his team talk for him.

Well, Shakespeare wrote most of it…

If we are mark'd to league one, we are ready

To do our city proud; and if to win,

The bigger the crowd, the greater share of honour.

God's will! I pray thee, wish not one signing more.

By Jove, I am not covetous for the title,

Nor care I who doth feed upon our position;

It yearns me not if men my home shirt wear;

Such outward things dwell not in my desires:

But if it be a sin to covet honour,

I am the most offending soul alive.

O, do not wish one more signing!

Rather proclaim it, Didier and Papy,

That he which hath no stomach to this fight,

Let him depart; his snood shall be made

And hair dye for convoy put into his hand:

We would not play in that man's company

That fears his fellowship to die with us.

This game is called Charlton Athletic:

He that outlives this day, and brings a home win,

Will stand a tip-toe when the day is named,

And rouse him at the name of the goal scorer.

He that shall live this day, and see old age,

Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,

And say 'You still haven’t beaten us:'

Then will he strip his sleeve and show his tats.

And say 'These wounds I had on Charlton day.'

Old men forget: yet all shall be forgot,

But he'll remember with advantages

What feats they did that day: then shall our names.

Familiar in his mouth as household words

Loovens, O’Nien, Maja and Gooch,

Matthews and McLoughlan,

Be in their flowing cups freshly remember'd.

This story shall the good man teach his son;

And the first game shall ne'er go by,

From this day to the ending of the world,

Without the team being remember'd;

We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;

For he to-day that sheds his blood with me

Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,

This day shall gentle his condition:

And gentlemen in Newcastle now a-home

Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,

And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks

That fought with us upon Charlton Athletic day.