"Edgar Kail in my heart, keep me Dulwich!"

"Edgar Kail in my heart, keep me Dulwich!"

By Mishi Morath
10 April 2013
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The Dulwich Hamlet terrace anthem got a mention on a national newspaper website


"The Guardian" have a column called 'The Knowledge' where members of the public can pose unusual questions for other readers to answer.

A poser was set by Dulwich Hamlet fan Robert-Molloy-Vaughan which asked the following:

Who are the oldest players still celebrated in football club chants?

"Down at Dulwich Hamlet's Champion Hill stadium every match we still sing two terrace chants in celebration of Edgar Kail, the last non-league player to represent England and a one-club man who last played for Hamlet in 1933, 80 years ago. I wonder what clubs can beat us for antiquarian bygone-dom in celebrating old players through song?"

Some answers were published this week, and the following suggestions were proffered in response:

A couple of clubs can claim still to sing the praises of players even longer departed than the great Edgar Kail. "Derby County's idolising of Steve Bloomer takes some beating," writes Matt Lewis. "He played for the Rams from 1892 to 1906, then moved to Middlesbrough, before returning to Derby in 1910. He eventually hung up his boots for good in 1914.

"With 332 goals, he is by far Derby's all-time top scorer and only Jimmy Greaves has scored more goals in the English top flight. He still sits joint 10th on England's all-time top scorers list, with 28 goals from 23 games, despite playing his last international match over a century ago. The song Steve Bloomer's Watchin' is played before every game at Pride Park.

And in Scotland those on the terraces at Parkhead also have long memories. "Celtic fans still regularly belt out The Ballad of Willie Maley," writes Mark Sheffield. "Maley played for the club from 1888-1897, before taking over as manager, a post he held until 1940. The song also references Jimmy McGrory, another player who would later manage the club and whose last appearance as a player came in 1937; and Charlie Tully, who last turned out in the Hoops in 1959."

So although we may not hold the distinction of having the oldest chant with regard to a hero from a by-gone era in the country, it looks like we do hold that honour in non-league football1

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