IT would be worse than losing to Wednesday but Sheffield United's famous Greasy Chip Butty Song is under threat.
For, very quietly and without a great deal of publicity, John Smith's has stopped making its iconic Magnet cask-conditioned beer.
It's the pint made famous by the terrace anthem, to the tune of John Denver's Annie's Song, which goes like this:
"You fill up my senses
Like a gallon of Magnet
Like a packet of Woodbine
Like a good pinch of snuff
Like a night out in Sheffield
Like a greasy chip butty
Oh Sheffield United
Come thrill me again,
Nah nah nah nah nah nah oooh,
Nah nah nah nah nah nah oooh oooh."
You can still buy Woodbines and a tin of snuff but Magnet's snuffed it.
"There was no big announcement. They've just stopped making it. Although it has been contract brewed for some time, it still had a loyal following in Sheffield," says Andrew Cullen, chairman of Sheffield CAMRA.
According to beer writer Roger Protz, the Dutch-owned Heineken UK, owners of John Smith, says sales are confined to just 100 pubs.
Andrew recalls the West Street Live selling Magnet, now replaced by Marston's Hobgoblin.
Somehow "A gallon of Hobgoblin" doesn't sound right and, anyway, doesn't scan.
The origins of the song are shrouded in mystery. Denver had a hit with the song in 1975 but it was first heard on the terraces during United's 3-1 win at Stoke, the opening match of the then Division 2 season in 1985-86.
There is a counter-claim from Rotherham supporters that the Blades pinched it from them.
Burton Albion and Grimsby Town also have local versions, as does St Helens Rugby League Club. In Burton they have a gallon of Peddi and a packet of Walkers (crisps), in Grimsby it's a barrel of Tetleys but they keep the Woodbines, while St Helen's beer of choice is Greenalls and the cigarettes become a kebab.
The Greasy Chip Butty Song has gone international with versions in Norwegian, Canada and China, home of the Chengdu Blades, United's sister team.
In 2007 The Star came up with a special version for the Chinese which went: "You fill up my senses/ Like a gallon of soy sauce/ Like a packet of chopsticks/ Like a good crispy duck/ Like a night out in Chengdy/ Like a greasy egg noodle/ Like Chengdu 'n' United/ Come thrill me again."
What are your Magnet memories? Add your comment below, write to The Editor at The Star, York Street, Sheffield S1 1PU or email email@example.com
SOME facts you may or may not know about Magnet and the Greasy Chip Butty Song...
Some people claim that the reference to Magnet is a mistake for maggots, used as bait by fishermen who are invariably footie fans.
Magnet was never brewed in Sheffield but in the Eighties John Smith's owned one in 10 local pubs.
John Denver is said to have written Annie's Song in 10 minutes.
Denver didn't actually write the tune, which is based on the second movement of Tchaikovsky's Symphony No 5.
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