Wednesfield & Willenhall Rivalry!- “Cheeky Ned Seized Billy’s Thumb and Bit It to the Bone!”

This is why I like going to Wednesfield History Society so much!

Not is it just a meeting, it is also full of great Wednesfield people who like a laugh, but are serious about the Village history!

Last night was a great meeting it had a little bit of everything!

It was full for a start. During the course of the evening there was a great poem read by Jackie Harrison. It was written by an unknown person. But it dealt with the long time rivalry between Wednesfield and Willenhall.

Jackie Harrison read it perfectly, and it amused us all… was about a cockfighting!

Please enjoy the poem….you can let me have your comments also. Thanks Jackie for the reading and thank you Ray Fellows for the hard work you do in making our evenings a success.


At Wednesfield at one village wake,
the cockers all did meet
at Billy Lane’s, the cockfighter’s,
to have a special treat.
For Charley Mason’s spangled cock
was matched to fight a red
that came from Will’n’all, o’er the fields,
and belonged to cheeky Ned.
Two finer birds in any cockpit
there never yet was seen,
though the Wednesfield men declared
their cock was sure to win.
The cocks fought well, and feathers flew
all round about the pit,
while blood from both of ‘em did flow
yet neither would submit.
At last the spangled Wedgefield bird
began to show defeat,
when Billy Lane he up and swore
the bird should not be beat.
For he would fight the biggest man
that came from Will’n’all town,
And on the word, old cheeky Ned
got up and knocked him down.
To fight they went like bull dogs
as it is very well known,
til cheeky Ned seized Billy’s thumb
and bit it to the bone.
At this the Wednesfield men began
their comrade’s part to take,
and never was a fiercer fight
fought at a village wake.
They beat the men from Will’n’all
back to their town again,
and long they will remember
this Wednesfield wake and main.


Anonymous – 20th Century

Phil Bateman

Phil Bateman is Married to Mary and lives in Wednesfield North. He was a long serving local politician having served previously on the now defunct West Midlands County Council... read more