Tag Archives: George Best

The Origins of the Perry Groves Song (and why No.7 was Liam Brady?)!

Whilst I search my memory banks for the latest update on my Arsenal story (Part I & Part II) I digress from this to disclose the origins of the Perry Groves World song!

Fans have always had  tongue in cheek songs for the players that were not A list or Category A to use a pricing theme over the years.

Willie ! Willie ! – for Willie Young.!
Whoops a daisy it’s Martin Hayes-ee! ( I’d like to know who started that one!)

But,the Perry Groves World is one that took off, and its popularity remains today, being sung at both home and away games on a regular basis.

So, where and when did it emerge? All can be revealed!

I’ll take you back to the 1980s and the English club ban from Europe following Heysel – the current 20 somethings are blessed with the European way trips every year whilst the 20 somethings of the mid 80s had that door slammed shut in our faces. It looks now a strange quirk that whilst the clubs were banned, the international team carried on, so the England fans still had their away trips (anyway, I digress)!

Others looked to Celtic or Rangers as an outlet for their wanderlust! For some of my Arsenal mates and myself, we of  the London Irish parish of the broad Arsenal church did Ireland away trips in Europe  during the interlull!

For those who have donned the international cap, a degree of decorum is required what when meeting your fellow country fans because they are not all Arsenal! But, what tended to happen at least in my experience is you left your club allegiances at the bar door and shared the commonality of away trips, away grounds, policing etc. We got on well with a number of cockney reds of Irish descent! Shock horror now regarding fraternising with Man United fans, but the Man United of the late 80s was not the one of today ,although they seem to be moving back that way!

These were good lads, proper football fans, not like the current breed. They knew their football history and called our North Bank  the Laundry End! (They were right!)

At the end of an evenings drinking a few club songs would break the general neutral détente!  But nothing too controversial! We sang in praise of the AFC and they matched this with a the sing a long pf “we all live in a Georgy Best world!” – A late 60s song. (City sang a version to a Colin Bell world! They went through the numbers, but when it came to no 7, they sang in praise of their captain Bryan (man of the match) Robson!

The song was a catchy and uplifting  football song! My mate (who shall remain nameless) in an inspired  drink fuelled moment of clarity thought of a take the piss response version.

Perry Groves, who was a fan, who gave his all. As a player, Groves was never going to be a Georgy Best in terms of ability, but more than a Best in terms of loyalty, so was sung in response! We sang it in fake Manc accents and we were of the vintage that Liam Brady just had to be No 7!!

The song was a hit in pubs on the Ireland way trips! In terms of Arsenal games, we were still of that age and clique that considered singing was for the barmys other than  “Be Jesus said Paddy!”

It took until May 1991 for the song to debut when we were in the Bank Of Friendship on the day that Liverpool got beat by Nottingham Forest to give us the 1991 league title before we played Man United later that evening. Thinking back on it, it was due to the occasion one rare time when all my AFC gang including the London Irish away trip ones were together!

We debuted the Perry Groves song to the pub as the drink and champagne flowed! It went down a treat. We continued on the celebrations the following Saturday when we had the Championship presentation after hammering Coventry 6-1!! We sang the song in more pubs and heard the song echo elsewhere!!!

Songs are often established on away trips! I have read before that the song was heard first at Vienna away in the European Cup the following autumn. Possibly! The song was on the fans singlist by then and none of my gang were in Vienna. I heard it first at a match  at the away game after our FA Cup disaster at Wrexham. We were at QPR away, me and a mate (who would always turn up following a bad defeat to show his support). Perry was warming up on the touch line and our way support sung Perry Groves World!

The song is still sung today. Although the “Liam Brady no 7” is forgotten by the present generation rather like the old Sicilian guy in The Godfather 2 trying to get  a young wedding  band to remember an old Sicilian tune!

As an aside to my older ears, all football songs are now sung too fast or in the case of the new Flamini song, out of tune Mrs Robinson!

“All Continue reading


Wilshere needs to learn from Ramsey

In today’s papers, a picture has been printed of Jack Wilshere, outside a night club, with a cigarette, ‘flirting’ with a pretty blonde. The paper claims that it was taken in the early hours of Wednesday morning, after the game against Napoli.

There are many different things going through my head. A player smoking, going on a night out and flirting with a girl a week after his childhood sweetheart has given birth. Let me quickly address these.

I do not have a problem with the smoking. Yes, it is a dirty habit. One which will kill you. It saddens me when I see a child in school uniform smoking, as they have succumbed to peer pressure and will end up dying young, having spent thousands of pounds slowly killing themselves. But that is a side point. A footballer smoking. He has got a lot of criticism for it.

However, a lot of people smoke. Zinadine Zidane smoked. Wayne Rooney has been caught with a cigarette. Reports were Robin Van Persie often liked a smoke. This has not effected any of these players. Footballers train so hard and regularly that the effects of smoking (ie blocked lungs) will have little, if any effect. Smoking might damage your health, but it will not effect Jack Wilshere’s performance.

The second point is being on a night out. There is no proof that Wilshere was drinking and usually after a game, players are given the night off. With the next day’s training often being light stretching and ice baths. The day’s are nowhere near as bad as the old Tuesday Club of Adams, Bould, Merson and Groves. There is no issue with a player going out after a game. Some go for a meal with their wives. Other’s go to a club. Jack Wilshere is 21.

The last point about him ‘flirting’ is the most ludicrous. Talking to a girl does not mean you a flirting. No one knows who this girl is, her relationship with Wilshere, or what they were talking about. In the words of Emmanuel Frimpong. Leave it, Yeah!

The press need to back off Jack Wilshere a bit. The British press are gutter scum. They have a history of building people up, then knocking them down, for the sole purpose of sales. That is what they are doing to Jack Wilshere. It is what they did to Wayne Rooney, David Beckham, Gazza, George Best and more.

Rather then appreciate a talent, and let a player develop into a star who will represent his country, they knock him down. And this is all the story is. The Sun (I was not going to name the rag) have recently forced everyone to pay to access their website. This picture was no more than a way for them to force people to either pay for a paper, or log onto the website. This story is nothing but an attempt to increase sales.

Saying that, Jack Wilshere could do with looking at his midfield partner, Aaron Ramsey, and how he lives his life. A lot more private (or just less newsworthy?), his brilliant form this season is down to knuckling down and concentrating on his football. Jack Wilshere could do with spending the next few months concentrating on getting his place back in the Arsenal team. He needs to avoid putting himself in positions where the press, and fans could have a dig.

Wilshere is a talented individual, there is no doubt about that. However, he has to be a little careful that his football does not become disrupted or overshadowed by nights out. Pictures of him in clubs smoking, arrests or spitting at taxi drivers. Even having 2 children by 21 with a women who you have been in an ‘on off relationship’ with is a tad chavvy.

He needs to realise his god given gift. He needs to ensure he does not become a Frimpong, a Bentley or a Pennant. Knuckle down, concentrate on playing and he will become a superstar.

Aaron Ramsey and Jack Wilshere could do for Arsenal what Xavi and Iniesta have done for Barcelona. We as fans just need to be patient, and they as players need to ensure they continue to put the hard work in.