Who dunnit? Help us find the staff who wrote this poem in 1975

4 January 2023

If you were one of the many people that watched the Glass Onion on Netflix over the holidays, then it’s fair to say you enjoy a good mystery. Steven 2.jpg

We need your help to solve a mystery of our own. On the 4th October, 1975 staff from Salford Royal (then Hope Hospital) sent a poem they had written to sports writer, the late David Meek, from the Manchester Evening News.

The poem was about a former Manchester United player named Steven R James. He came across it after his Auntie Nora shared an envelope of memorabilia that she had collected about him over the years. The staff who wrote the poem believed that he wasn’t getting the credit he deserved.

A few years ago, Steven decided to start writing his personal memoires and stumbled across the poem as he was going through his things. He was very moved by how much the authors of the poem appreciated his career as a player and that they took the time to write to the newspaper.

Steven said, “I reach out in the hope that there may just be some of the people that wrote the poem still at the hospital, or maybe some of their extended family and friends so I may extend my heartfelt thanks for the joy it has given me as I approach my 73rd birthday, 47 years since it was first written.”

This is where you come in, if you are familiar with this poem and were involved or know of anyone who helped to write it, let us know. Help us solved this mystery that has stumped Steven for almost 50 years.

Contact Victoria.toiviainen@nca.nhs.uk if you can provide any clues.

The Honourable James: A Poem

There are rumblings around the Old Trafford ground,
Regarding the Honourable James.
Why are there no shouts being bandied about,
With regards to the absence of same?
He did a great job, as agreed by the mob
Of supporters and critics alike.
But he never seems to get publicity- yet,
He earns it, the Honourable James.
Twice bashed in the face, then fallen from grace
By the art. Hon Docherty, Tom,
That’s why we don’t hear,
Those roars far and near,
For the Honourable Steven R. James.
Ten years he’s been with them,
The longest of all
Due for a Benefit soon?
Oh, why don’t we see him, Gazelle like and tall,
The quietist man of them all?
So- let’s read next week, from the man David Meek
Concerning the Honourable James,
About how last season, he helped pull them through
And out of Division Two

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