Motion seeks the 'primitive power' of football chants

The poet laureate, Andrew Motion, yesterday launched a search to find a Premiership fan capable of capturing in verse the "spirit, passion and wit" of the national game.

The competition to become the first Barclaycard Chant Laureate will be judged by a panel that is chaired by Mr Motion and includes BBC Radio DJs Chris Moyles and Comedy Dave. Also on the panel is Ian McMillan, who is described as being the "poet in residence at Barnsley FC".

The winner will receive a £10,000 bursary to watch top football matches in 2004/5 and be required to compose a series of special chants during the season. Mr Motion said that he was anxious that racist and obscene chants should be outlawed by the judges but said he was not going to be "excessively prudish" about the entries.

He said the exercise was an important recognition of the "primitive power" of poetry although he was not expecting the football bard to provide him with excessive competition.

Nic Gault, Barclaycard Sponsorship Director, said: "Football chanting is a modern-day art form. Chants ... [often tell] the story of famous games, players and goals."