A CENTURY-OLD poem could prove a good omen for Sunderland’s derby day hopes tomorrow.
Ed Forster, of East Herrington, discovered the 109-year-old verse in a box of papers he has been collecting while researching his family history.
The ode, penned in 1903, was written about the Tyne-Wear derby on Boxing Day of that year, which SAFC won 3-1 at St James’s Park.
The start of the poem also copies the famous mock obituary that appeared in The Sporting Times in 1882, after the English cricket team lost to Australia, which led to the nations competing for The Ashes.
Ed, a season ticket holder at the Stadium of Light, said: “Over the last few years we have been collecting family papers to look into our history and find out more about our past.
“I have a box full of papers and when I was going through it I just came across the poem.
“I think it is really great, and I find it very interesting to see how a lot of the same rivalry was present back then.”
He added: “Hopefully, it will be a good omen for Sunderland, especially the bit at the start when it says the poor old magpie hangs his head.”
The victory in 1903 saw Sunderland leap-frog Newcastle in the table.
One of the scorers, Arthur Bridgett, went on to score more than 100 goals for the Black Cats.
He was also part of the side that beat Newcastle 9-1 in 1908, which is still the record score for the derby match.
At St James’s Park, Boxing Day 1903
Sacred to the memory of Newcastle United
Who died at home through an Unexpected Reverse at the hands of Sunderland on Boxing Day 1903.
The poor old magpie hangs his head
In grief he does repine
On his own ground he got struck down
There’s wailing on the Tyne.
Again there’ll be a tussle between the Wear and Tyne
And it won’t be very tender boys altho it’s Xmas time
Every time the rivals meet there is a grand display
And this time it will be extra for it falls on Boxing Day.
Play up! good old Sunderland, will be the Wear lads cry
You’ll have to play for all your worth, Tyneside will reply
Then from thirty thousand throats comes such a ringing cheer
As the whistle blows and starts the fight between the Tyne and Wear.
As each the ladders climbing, as yet there’s no cocks eyes
Though the other week at Derby Doig got a big surprise
And United to at Blackburn, they got a nasty fall
But if they win on Boxing Day they say t’will pay for all.
When last they met the “know alls” said the magpies would go down
So that the “Black and Whites” again League Champions would be found
But neither Stoke or Burnley up at the Leazes play
For the Magpies won by one to none and bore the points away.
Now some they say that good old Doig is getting rather stale
But Sheffields clever forwards they tell a different tale
And McCombie too and Watson in defending know no fear
For they’re always ready to repel when danger it is near.
Either Walls or Kingsley can guard United’s goal
For Charlie showed the Sheffielders the way to stop the ball
Also McColl and Templeton will play a splendid game
While Andy Aitken you can bet will prove the brightest gem.
And when the game is over there’ll be a ringing cheer
Which will proclaim the victory of the Tyne, perhaps the Wear
And though done their best to bear the points away
But t’was all in vain but they meet again on glorious New Year’s Day.
H Poulson, Newcastle