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UNCLE ALBERT'S SAD FAREWELL TO THE WORLD
by
Ed Pickford

There's a stain on the floor of the bar room
There's a cap in a case by the door
There's a verse on a stone in a churchyard
In memory of one who's no more...

If you turn second left at the High Street
Past an old pub called the Swan
There's a monument to my Uncle Albert
And though of not many heroes, he was one

He wasn't a chap prone to boasting
And he stood, I bet, only five feet
But those five feet he covered in glory
As you'll hear when his old comrades meet

It was the time of the first Yankee moon men
There was racing at Catterick as well
And I backed the six-to-four favourite
And he was, that is, till he fell

That night was the championship darts match
And the bar of the club was jammed full
We were playing at home in the final
And we started - being nearest the bull

The 'oohs' and the 'aahs' broke the silence
As both teams wrestled with might
A game to remember for ever
By all - even those who were tight

Some favoured cardboard some feathers
Some favoured heavy, some light
But all were experienced past masters
Of split second reckoning and flight

Then the nail that was holding the dart board
Bent with a fearful creak
And there wasn't another to replace it
'Least not straight to hand, so to speak

At last the club's Concert Chairman
Renowned for his improvised wit
Says "Put old Albert beneath it -
With his height he'll just about fit"

The company looked around at poor Albert
Then the Secretary got right to the nub
Saying "If he doesn't, the match will be forfeit
Come on Albert, for the honour of the club

Albert had no need of thinking
His blood rose to answer the call
And he jammed his head under the dartboard
Crying "For Queen, Club, Country an'all"

Not flinching not moving he just stood there
Except once when he went out the back
Until the game flowed in our favour
The opposition was beginning to crack

All that was needed for victory
Was five and double sixteen
Now the five was obtained very easy
Then silence fell on the scene

The player squared up with his arrows
It was Sidney, Albert's own son
Who'd played very well the whole evening
Until now when something went wrong

Now it could've been all the excitement
Or some smoke that got in his eye
Or it could've been his new wellies
'Cos he slipped just before he let fly

Albert stood stricken with horror
As he watched the oncoming dart
Then his teeth gnashed with pain as it hit his gold chain
And ricochet'd up through his heart

Did he fall like a bird when it's wounded?
Did he cry out in the midst of his pain?
No, he winced and he spoke in a whisper
"Come on, son. Finish the game"

Albert's blood dripped down his waistcoat
As Sidney took aim and then threw
Hitting double sixteen neat, sweet and clean
Though how he felt nobody knew

"Someone grab Albert!" cried the Steward
"Keep him upright!" they all roared
Hold him up by his armpits
If he falls he might damage the board...

There's a stain on the floor of the bar room
There's a cap in a case by the door
There's a verse on a stone in a churchyard
In memory of one who's no more.
 
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