Ode to a Magpie


This anonymous poem was handed to my cousin John Scopas by an old Collingwood fan. He passed it on to me in the hope that it will get a run on the site and that we may yet find the author. I have cleaned up a fair bit of punctuation (written by a Collingwood person after all), but the sequence and words remain the same. I wonder how many GF’s this person lived to see after 1958 and if they retained the same confidence?


Anonymously written just before the 1958 GF.

Edited by Phil Dimitriadis


They’re in it again, the mighty ‘Pies, From the kangaroo they picked the eyes,

And ere the season’s final bell, They’ll pick the Demons tail as well.


In spite of much adversity, In the form of injury,

They fought back well-took double chance, Their brilliant record to enhance.


Renegade Richards said “no hope”, With North the Magpies cannot cope,

You know what happened – this is why, The Magpies never do say die,


Now the big “Two” on the summit sit, Saturday’s Grand Final will be “it”,

The Demons say “Four in a row”, The Magpies, “A Thousand times no”.


OK they beat us twice this year, So what, the Woodsmen have no fear,

That these big shot Demons can’t be tossed, No game is won until it’s lost.


They’ll go out there on Saturday, And, boy, you’ll really see them play,

The Aussie Rules as sportsmen should, They always have – at Collingwood.


They’re hoping that with a bit of luck, To be led by Captain Friar Tuck,

A fellow with a great big heart, Who always plays a Captain’s part.


To reach well into the blue, They hope to have Mick Twomey too,

Dynamic Bill may make the side, To take opponents for a ride.


A tribute to “Big Bill” is due, And most appropriate I think – don’t you?

So let’s all give a mighty cheer, For a Mighty Magpie’s great career.


Well, we’ve got the men to win this fight, I’ll name a few now, If I might,

Like “Lightening Merrett” and Bill Serong, Who worry rivals all day long.


Lucas and Mike Delanty strive, To give their team mates a lot of drive,

Ron Reeves burns so does Ken Turner, I’m telling you this boy is no learner,


Two Beers?, No – but one will do, Because we’ve got a Brewer too,

Leading goal sneak – and a star, His tally – seventy-one so far,


John Henderson, up and coming now, No worried furrows on his brow,

He plays it clever, he plays it hard, And gives his opponents “not a yard”.


The Wood’s tall timber’s not so bad, Gabbo, Weidy and the Fellows Lad,

Will make the Demons know they’ve played, And bump for bump these boys will trade.


Harry Sullivan, their star full back, Best since Regan (Famous Jack),

Made Johnny Dugdale look a deb, I’ll amen for Demon Athol Webb.


So who will win the treasured flag, I feel this pennant’s in the bag,

We’ll kill the Demons – Never fear, YES NINETEEN FIFTY EIGHT’S OUR YEAR.

About Phillip Dimitriadis

Carer/Teacher/Writer. Author of Fandemic: Travels in Footy Mythology. World view influenced by Johnny Cash, Krishnamurti, Larry David, Toni Morrison and Billy Picken.


  1. John Butler says


    Whoever penned this was clairvoyant.

    The Pies win in ’58 was a huge upset.


  2. Peter Flynn says

    Thanks Phil.


  3. Damo Balassone says

    Fascinating stuff Phil.

    Interesting to see the reference to Friar Tuck “to be led by Captain Friar Tuck” as he was injured and did not play in the GF. Murray Weideman skippered that day. Perhaps this was written earlier on in the season – which makes it even more prophetic.

  4. Peter Flynn says

    He/she kept Barry Harrison under wraps as well.

    As far as I can tell, Frank Tuck’s last game for the year was Round 16.

  5. Peter Flynn says

    Phil and Damo,

    The smoking gun is:

    Two Beers?, No – but one will do, Because we’ve got a Brewer too,

    Leading goal sneak – and a star, His tally – seventy-one so far,

    He had kicked 71 goals up to and including the Preliminary Final.

  6. Damo Balassone says

    Peter – Great observation re Brewer.

  7. It also says “from the kangaroo they picked the eyes”, which clearly is a reference to beating North in the PF.

    The Tuck reference is preceded by “They’re hoping that with a bit of luck” so maybe after being injured in Round 16 Frank was on the verge of playing. Perhaps he had a fitness test a la Mick Malthouse and failed?

  8. I’ve just sent a request to Joffa and his 5000 FACEBOOK friends in the hope that we can find out who wrote this little gem. The old bloke who gave it to my cousin said that it may have even been written by a Collingwood player.

    Frank Tuck was stiff. He missed out on the 1953 flag due to suspension and 1958 because of injury. Apparently, he was one of the Pies’ best players in that era.

    Flynny, I reckon Hooker Harrison may have got a run had a poem been written after the GF.

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