On The Road Past Wigan Pier (Or When Saturday Comes).

Beyond Wigan Pier,

flat caps are worn with a sense

of irony

to the visiting football fan

that made their way through tunnels

and forgotten history book sampled landscapes

of the once industrial blackened soot North,

Orwell no longer in residence

and yet in this barbarous age,

a depression in all but name,

the great decline of the 21st Century,

but as long as you can get your nails done

and have the latest must have Playstation

diversion, then obviously the world is just great and green;

past Wigan Pier, a pie disappointing

on its way in, no beer, still not drinking alone.

It was just like Saturdays of my childhood,

out with my Dad

watching Aston Villa, though these days

the team travels to the land of the organic,

ironic flatcap and braces, rather than facing

down a mountain at Maine Road or Anfield.


when Saturday came and the day was all about the game,

home perhaps in time for Doctor Who,

but always about the Saturday Pink,

the slight change in table positions

which had to be digested and memorised

for school all the following week,

the headphone in one ear,

avoiding mix up with wax,

the lemonade through a straw

and then when He was not looking

sipping from a half pint cobbled glass,

when Saturday came, listening into the gossip from the terraces

and singing lyrics in which you didn’t truly understand,

now of course you would not dare through shame utter a


unless it was to retell the story, warts and all,

kick the ball

kick the ref,

kick the ref, bloody hell,

West Brom winning away,

City running rampant…in my childhood dreams,

Liverpool destroying everything in sight,

Wigan…well they’re new to the league,

forget who they replaced,

Workington wasn’t it, Dad?

When Saturday came,

Wigan in the March,

Villa sort of well languishing

in the second tier,

a lowly tear

unseen by the crowd

but I catch in my Dad’s eye

as he sees Dennis Mortimer

lift the European Cup in 1982,

black and white photographs allude and prove to the fact

he was there, loyal to the last,

like Orwell, loyal to the words, always those words

that caught me off guard when I learned the fate

of Boxer in Animal Farm,

the working man left to die,

the working class game once stolen by Napoleon

and leased back through television rights.

On the Road past Wigan Pier,

there are superstores and ice creams,

housing estates and Wigan’s two stations

within a Peter Withe strike on goal…

on the road past Wigan Pier

when Saturday comes again.


Ian D. Hall 2017