Why Delilah Why ?

Jones the voice and the not insured chest hairI can’t find an answer to that question actually. I’ve searched around but there’s no explanation as to why Stoke City use “Delilah” to run out to. Any Potters fans reading this – help me out.

So then this week the Prediction League is featuring matches from the old 2nd Division. I decided to take a look music-wise too at the current leading contender to take Derby County’s and Mick McCarthy’s Sunderland slot as next season’s whipping boys.

Ah come on you are kidding yourselves if you think that Stoke will be able to mix it up there with the rest of them, once you get there you might as well enjoy the brief ride.

I do hope though that I am wrong and that Stoke City have a good few years residency in the top division, but I really can’t see it. These days you need mega rich backing and a ton of money – or take a risk at putting some huge loan debts on the club, to make sure that you stay in the toppermost league these days. I know they have a chairman with a bit of wedge, but not many of these big suits put their hand in their pocket to help out the club once they’ve got promotion. Case in point – Madejski at Reading who is still looking to get shut of the club.

This post isn’t about current footie politics though. The intention here is too look back at Stoke who were many years ago up there with the “big clubs”. But back then in their heyday Stoke were the biggest team when there were no big teams, just football teams.

In the 1930’s Stoke had this flying winger called Stanley Matthews, who started as an apprentice at the club.

A few years later they had a decent goalie named Gordon Banks.

I don’t know when these songs about the club were recorded, they sound very ’70’s.

First up – An instrumental called Theme For The A Team…       The A Team

No not them. This lot:

The 1972 Stoke City team

I don’t actually know if the song was done for the 1972 League Cup winning team, but as I mentioned when listening to the songs they sound like they were done around that time.

» The Potters – Theme For The A Team

The next one has lyrics:

» The Potters (Stoke City FC Supporters) – We’ll Be With You

EXTRA TIME: Since I mentioned it you might as well have it:

» Tom Jones – Delilah

and related to that… one of my favourite duets:

» Space and Cerys Matthews – The Ballad Of Tom Jones

“…I never threw my knickers at you. / And I don’t come from Wales…”

Thanks to a very bored today MickMills who found this on a Stoke City forum which talks about the roots of the song and some of the altered lyrics.
– Plus I found this Stoke FC Potters website page (links to the audio on there don’t work unfortunately). It talks about a fan called TJ who gets up in the crowd and sings a changed lyrics version.

May 9th, 2011 Update: Vote in the Blue Moon v Delilah poll

13 Replies to “Why Delilah Why ?”

  1. marwood82 says:

    there are a few suggestions as to why/how it started though i don’t think anyone really knows for sure.

    1 i heard is that there was a guy who used to stand on the terraces behind the goal in the 70’s who’s name was tom jones. his mates found it rather amusing to sing delilah at him and it caught on.

    i think the generally accepted reason is that there were a bunch of stoke fans being rather loud in a pub prior to kick off and the a police went over to them and said that they didn’t have a problem with them singing but could they mind the language.
    At which point the boistrous member of the group burst out with a few lines of delilah and it snowballed from there.

  2. Hylton says:

    I dont recall it being around in the 80’s & certainly not the 70’s, but yes there are many versions of how & why it started: Some dreadfull away performace at STFC in the early 90’s started a bout of surreal chanting, some bloke working at the Michelin factory had his wife run off with another fella… Worth noting is that what is being chanted is the second verse of Delilah & the words have been changed from “I felt the knife in my hand” to “I put my d!c& in her hand…” This reflects a certain misogynistic trait in the Stoke mentality, as it has one of the worst ratio’s of male to female in the country (4:1)!!!

  3. TJ says:

    i heard some stokies were in a pub and they were told that they couldn’t sing football songs. someone put delilah on the jukebox and it caught on

  4. bigumf says:

    it was started by a bloke called anton. dunno why. there is no tom jones connection. in the seventies the sensational alex harvey band performed at the victoria ground as support for yes. they had a hit with the ultimate version of delilah. not the apologetic crap that tom jones did, but one with real venom and passion!!!

  5. Tony says:

    I would agree with bigumf. I think alex Harvey actually sang Delilah on stage at stoke (in the boothen end) , I was there but whether it was sang by stoke fans directly after that (May 1975) I wouldnt know. One hell of a coincidence if it isnt!

  6. Chris says:

    Roughly agree with Hylton. I can’t remember this song being sung until at the earliest 1989 maybe a bit later, when Stoke were doing really badly. The why why why bit had a sort of humerous why do we put up with this feel about it unlike now.

  7. graham says:

    the song was started at an away match i cant remember which one but the police kept the stokies in the ground for 2 hours after the final whistle over the public address system they played delilah over and over again we heard it so many times that day that the song stuck i hope this clears up you inquiry

  8. harry says:

    It all started in the early ninetys when stoke got relagated,we were so feed up with watching stoke lose every week we started to amuse our selfs by singing songs like ,we all go stoke, we dont know why, we never score it makes me cry,(the piranas song) in the home stand there was 2 big red doors, and when they opened, the fans left the ground, we used to sing :so before they come to open the door, forgive us stoke city we just couldn”t take anymore, ohhhhh, why why why do we bother,it started like this, I saw her mot as she pissed on her pot by the window,ohhhhhh, i saw the cigarette singe on her minge allnight long,ohhhhhh, she stood there laughing, ha ha ha ha, i put my thingy in her hand and she laughed no more, ohhh why why ect, i hope this help you to understand why we sing this today ( a different version of it but one line remains, i put my thingy in her hands, not very popular with dads watching there kids singing it,) we are stoke …..

  9. brent says:

    im a stoke fan. apparantly, it started at an away match at the old huddersfield ground. a fan known as tj was so sick of seeing stoke in the shite state they were in and he just started to sing “forgive me stoke city i just couldnt take anymore”. it caught on and has evolved into what we here today.

  10. Jordan says:

    It was all started in a pub as many have said on this with the Norty Forty.

  11. kevin rothwell says:

    I went to a concert at stoke city football ground in 1975. The star attraction was Yes. Compered by John Peel. The show also featured The Sensational Alex Harvey Band, who nearly provoked a riot. Guess what their famous signature tune was? Delilah. It was a Saturday afternoon. Stoke city were away. There were loads of stoke fans there. I am sure that this where their adoption of the tune came from

    1. Bob Campbell says:

      I’d second that one – I was at the concert to see Yes but Alex Harvey took the place by storm! I’ve always thought that’s where City’s Delilah came from. Bob.


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