The Man In The Stand: A poem dedicated to Melbourne supporters
The son of a former Melbourne footballer, from one of the club’s most famous families, wrote a poem more than a decade ago about what it’s like to support the Demons.
Geoff Cordner wrote the poem, some 15 years ago.
He said the time never seemed right to share it.
He has shared it in tribute to his father John, and his three brothers – Ted, Denis and the 1946 Brownlow Medal winner, Donald.
THE MAN IN THE STAND
There’s a man in the stand, and he’s looking at you
And he’s wanting to know if you’re feeling it too –
The pride in the guernsey that means so much more
When you wear it for all those who’ve worn it before.
There’s a duty that comes with the honour bestowed
To respect the ideals of the MFC code;
So with the passion and courage of teams of the past
Play each quarter, each minute, as if it’s your last.
There’s a man in the stand, and it shows in his face
He’d give anything just to be there in your place
To lace up your boots, and to feel what you feel
When you pull on the armour of red and blue steel,
To be able to tell the young boy on his knee
Of the day that the fans roared for him at the ‘G.
So one thing you must say as you walk from this shed
Is you’ll never let this privilege go to your head,
You’ll never take for granted what you’ve been allowed –
The chance to play footy in front of this crowd.
There’s a man in the stand, but he’s not on his own,
There are thousands beside, and behind, and at home
Those who wear the Club colours, and whose welfare depends
On whether their team is in front at the end.
And though between them they haven’t a stat to their names,
They are the very heart and the soul of this game,
And the question those people are asking of you
Is “If you get cut today, will you bleed red and blue?”
It’s a Grand Old Flag, but in this brave new world
If you want to see another flag being unfurled
Then don’t waste your time on the papers or news,
Because games aren’t determined by media views
Nor do crowds or the umpires decide who prevails,
It’s young men with big hearts just refusing to fail
With heads over the ball, and their bodies on the line
Who when knocked down get up again time after time
And who know that there’s always some more they can find
Even when the board says that they’re five goals behind
Winners don’t play three quarters, or give into fear
And they don’t play for money, or backslaps or beer
No, they play for each other, standing shoulder to shoulder,
When the other team’s brave, then you have to be bolder
And the thing you’ll reflect on one day, when you’re older
Is the man you became as a red and blue soldier.
There’s a man in the stand, and like those who surround him
He smiles as he turns to the faces around him
He smiles in the knowledge this team shares his pride
That this is a group who will not be denied
And he roars himself hoarse as he cheers for that team
He believes that these men can deliver that dream
And he knows that the prize they have sought all these years
Will be well worth the blood, and the sweat, and the tears.