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Last Updated: Tuesday, 25 November, 2003, 09:52 GMT
Hunt for top football chant
Ian McMillan
Mr McMillan is well versed in terrace chants
A hunt has been launched by poet laureate Andrew Motion to find the Premiership's finest football chant.

The winning fan will be crowned the first chant laureate and win 10,000.

Mr Motion, an Arsenal fan, is to be helped in his quest by a panel of judges, including Barnsley FC poet-in-residence Ian McMillan and BBC Radio One DJ Chris Moyles, from Leeds.

The winner will be given the task of chronicling in their chants key footballing events during the 2004/5 season.

Primitive appeal

Mr McMillan, an avid Barnsley fan, said: "The secret is finding someone who can write something that appears to be natural and spontaneous when sung by a crowd of 10,000 fans.

"At Barnsley we chant 'Just like watching Brazil' which sums up what a good chant should be. It has brevity and wit.

"I'd say to all those would-be poets on the terraces 'Come and have a go if you think you're Bard enough'."

Mr Motion said: "In all its many and varied forms, poetry retains an element of chant, of song.

"It's an essential part of its primitive appeal and pleasure."

Art form

The competition's organisers said the shortlist would include representatives from each of the 20 Premiership clubs.

The judges are looking for a fan able to create witty, rousing, insightful and original chants that "reflect the pride and passion of the game".

Songsters are invited to set their lyrics to a new tune, or an old favourite.

Nic Gault, of Premiership sponsors Barclaycard, said: "Football chanting is a modern-day art form.

"Chants continue to be the strongest link between fans and their team and are often passed on year to year, telling the story of famous games, players and goals."


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