FOREST Green fans have featured in a recording of a World Cup poem alongside a raft of top celebrities.
Actor and Notting Hill star Hugh Grant, Homeland lead man Damian Lewis, Inspector Lynley sleuth Nathaniel Parker, actress Elizabeth Hurley, former Arsenal and England captain Tony Adams and racing trainer Tom George, all contributed to poet Henry Birtles’ sporting masterpiece.
Henry, from Nympsfield, was commissioned by the BBC World Service to write a poem for England's World Cup campaign.
The poem, called That Time Again, makes reference to the first and only time England won the tournament, 48 years ago, in 1966.
FGR supporters gathered at The New Lawn to recite a short line that was written with Forest Green in mind.
At 1 minute 38 seconds after a man says "from Stretford End" the group of FGR fans shout "to Rovers".
Henry said : “Hugh Grant, Damian Lewis, Nathaniel Parker, Elizabeth Hurley and Tony Adams, along with many others, volunteered to lend their weight to a home movie shot over only two days with zero budget, a local producer, and people sending in their iPhone recordings, in the style of Lou Reed’s Perfect Day.
“With zero budget and the help of a local producer, one small camera, and people sending in their iPhone recordings. From the famous to the not-so-famous -- from hairdressers and mechanics to gospel choirs and naked gardeners -- everyone involved was so sporting, entering into the spirit of the project.”
Henry's poem below:
THAT TIME AGAIN
Have we finally learnt our lesson, do we finally know the score
Has reality come home to roost and knocked on every door
In a land where blind conviction never ceases to amaze
When you weigh up all those barren years, dashed hopes and early graves
Have we woken up with open eyes and seized the reins of truth
Are we reckoning on nothing; it’s the basement not the roof
Or yet once again has reason from our senses taken leave
Has it forced us to declare in hope; in England we believe
From the cobbled streets of Holmfirth, to the Kop and to the Den
Can we see our Lions prowling, can we count upon these men
Will they interrupt the Samba and evoke the ghost of Moore
Will they burn out, will they whimper, will we hear three Lions Roar
From the Peckhams to the Beckhams, from The Bridge up to The Lane
From The Valley to The Cottage, is it four more years of pain
Are the car flags and the banners just reminders to forget
Or will Gerrard’s Cross find Rooney and will Rooney find the net
It’s that time again for all of us, that time when we unite
Let the Scots cry Argentina, let the hand of God be right
We won’t shy from blinkered passion, so it’s time we gave what for
From the Stretford End to Rovers, from the Hawthorns to Turf Moor
We will rally, we will gather, we will throw all colours in
For our Team and for our Country, for our Queen and for our kin
And when all is done and dusted and they’ve dragged us through the dirt
We’ll still celebrate the honour of Three Lions and The Shirt.
©Henry F Birtles