A remembrance service was held today in Dorking, to mark the tenth anniversary of the death of its second most famous resident, the poet Harold Kludge.
After overcoming a lifelong fear of writing implements, Kludge began his career composing football poetry. He wrote his first poem in 1971, after watching Dorking Town lose to Bognor Regis in the first round of the FA Cup. It was a short, shocking poem, which simply went:
The referee's a wanker.
That was never a bloody goal.
What a wanker the referee is!
It was hailed as a masterpiece of post-modern poetry, and introduced football poetry to the world. Before long, Kludge was touring football grounds all over the country giving recitals before games. He would often be booed off, but many of his poems became popular chants on the terraces, including his first poem "The referee's a wanker".
His style was often offensive and full of mild swear words, which is one of the many reasons why he never gained mainstream success. Here is one of his favourite football poems, written in the mid-1970s:
Kick the ball, you tit,
It's right in front of you.
Oh, you've only gone and bloody missed it.
You useless tit.
Perhaps his most famous work was "You Cheating Git", penned after Maradona's famous handball when Argentina beat England 2-1 in the 1986 World Cup.
You're a cheating git.
Where was the referee?
Is he f***ing blind?
You're not supposed to handle the ball, Maradona,
You cheating git.
There are another 29 verses to "You Cheating Git", but they are all almost identical to the first so are usually best forgotten. Kludge himself would insist on reciting them all, which may have help the poem to stick in people's minds - hence its status as the most famous Kludge poem.
In later life, Kludge branched out into non-footballing poetry, briefly attempting a career as a horse-racing poet. Here is his take on the 1987 Grand National, "I bet on a horse today".
I bet on a horse today,
It was 8-1 favourite.
The bastard horse fell at the first fence and had to be shot,
Stupid bloody horse.
Later in life he wrote many poems about his native Dorking. After 1990 it is said that he never left the town, except once to travel to Reigate to buy some loose-leaf lined paper. He was disappointed that he couldn't find the exact type he wanted, and he never left Dorking again.
From 1993, here is a poem he penned about Dorking train station:
Twenty-seven trains went through Dorking station today,
I bloody counted them all.
People leaving for the city for the day
And the wankers coming back again.
He also offered this observation on Dorking nightlife, entitled "Wenches of Dorking":
Oh, wenches of Dorking,
In short skirts and stockings,
Where do you think you're going
Looking like that?
There's nothing to do
In Dorking on a Friday night
Except go down to the abattoir
And get felt up by the butcher.
Despite his prolific work, he never made a penny from any of his poems. His final poem was written in his own blood as he lay bleeding to death after he tragically severed a major artery with a hole punch:
As I lie dying,
Thinking of Dorking,
What a bloody mess I've made
On my brown carpet.
Harold Kludge's skeleton will be exhumed and will lie in state in Dorking Town Hall for two weeks.