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Paying poetic justice to our history.

GEORDIES have a deep-seated love of their city and their football club.

John Oliver is no exception. He was brought up on the terraces, black-andwhite from cradle to the grave.

It's little wonder that John has a job which perfectly reflects his love of life. He's a Toon tour guide who takes folks round St James's Park and shares with them the joy of being a Mag.

John, though, is a little different from the rank and file. He's a poet who started performing in the late 60s at Morden Tower, one of Britain's best known literary landmarks. With Christmas fast approaching, John has brought out a DVD. Now you may consider such a gift based upon United poetry to be a tad on the boring side, but how wrong you would be.

It's exceedingly slick and professional with stunning views of our city through Paul Atkinson and haunting guitar work by Les Chetham.

John's voice has that wonderful light and shade of an enthusiastic Geordie, and his poetry covers his time from the 50s, when he helped clear straw off the pitch on snowy match days, right through to Sir Bobby Robson. There's humour and nostalgia, a heady mix of our exceptional area.

For a Toon devotee of my age it's packed with memories which come pouring back, but for a young fan inquisitive about Newcastle yesteryears to an exiled Geordie pining for a link with their past this is the perfect, if slightly unusual, present.

Verses United is on sale from this weekend at club shops and top stores throughout the city price pounds 10.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Oct 31, 2009
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