The Poems of Robert William Foot OBE


Many people knew about Robert's achievements as a political advisor working for the Ministry of Defence, first and more briefly in Bosnia and later in Sierra Leone.  Indeed they will have shared in his delight and pride when these achievements were recognised by his being awarding the OBE in the New Year's Honours List of 2001.


Many knew of his sporting enthusiasms and expertise, of his enviable ability to relish and be proficient in whatever sporting opportunities and challenges presented themselves. Many knew of his passionate support of Queens Park Rangers Football Club, of his part-ownership of a one-eyed racing greyhound, of his love of much music and of an even greater diversity of literature. Many knew of the great pleasure he derived from travel and adventure, of his sheer sociability, of his wish - indeed his ability - to live life to the full.


What relatively few people knew, however, was Robert's ability as a poet. It was an ability which flowered most obviously in his primary school days, but it was something which never left him and which found most magnificently moving expression after his final diagnosis and as he prepared to die from his leukaemia.


This book, all the profits from which are being donated to the Robert Foot Leukaemia Fund, celebrates the man and his poetry by bringing his poems to a wider audience. They and the fund represents tangible aspects of his continuing legacy, of his continuing power for good.




A Poem
by Robert William Foot OBE
       with no fear and smiling face,
I've found Dickens's 'far, far better place'.
Released from any harm I've done,
Through conscience clear and others' tongue.
First I'll find my Grandad, late,
Waiting for me at the turnstyle gate.
And he'll be with the William Foots,
Who'll know me though I'm out of turn.
They'll meet a man with tales to tell,
But one, I hope, that listens well.
       Talk not of battles bravely fought
It's love, not war, that I have sought.
And ought, but rights, to have given up,
Until, saved, I learned to like myself.
Love others next, an awesome wealth.
And last, hardest and most rewarding of all,
To let myself be loved by you.
To you that know me, this will not shock,
Look through me now, like Brighton Rock,
Not one word there, not two, nor three
But more,
        For as I die,
                This is me

     'Rob and Kath Foot'



Memories of Robert William Foot OBE


Here, gathered together in one volume, are the memories of over fifty people who knew Rob.

The fifty people represent most walks of life; they range from the 3-year-old to the 96-year-old; and their memories extend over most aspects of Rob's relatively short but hugely fulfilled life.

Here are memories of the poet, the traveller, the sportsman, the socialiser, the friend, the peacemaker, the... Memories of a boy and a man living life to the full, and latterly living with leukaemia and awaiting premature death with the same 'fullness'. Here are memories which are sometimes hilarious, sometimes achingly poignant, often enough inspirational.

Here too are five more of Rob's poems from his adult days in South Africa and Cambodia, all discovered only after the publication in 2003 of 'Fireworks: the poems of Robert William Foot OBE'

Robert William Foot lives on in the memories and in RFLF - Robert Foot Leukaemia Fund, to which all profits from this book are being donated. Three years after his passing, the man, through the memories and the fund, continues to be an immense power for good.


First published 2005

Available:  £10 (plus £1 p&p), from:

Michael and Wendy Foot,
The Old Coach and Horses,
Folgate Lane,
Walpole St Peter,
Cambs PE14 7HS

Cheques payable to 'Robert Foot Leukaemia Fund'.



Poems by Michael Foot in Support of RFLF

Michael Foot, Robert's father, retired early from primary school headship in 1995, made grossly unhappy by many developments in education. Unlike Robert, who wrote poetry as a child and, more occasionally, as a young adult, he did not begin writing poems until after his retirement. Since then he has written 61 poems, all of which are included in this collection in the order that they were written. Some of them are responses to momentous national and international events, others to momentous events - of intense joy and sadness - in his personal life. His poems often celebrate the extraordinariness of the everyday ordinary, and man's too rarely fulfilled potential for greatness.

All proceeds from "A Double History" will be donated to RFLF.


First published 2006

Available:  £5 (plus £1 p&p), from:

Michael and Wendy Foot,
The Old Coach and Horses,
Folgate Lane,
Walpole St Peter,
Cambs PE14 7HS

Cheques payable to 'Robert Foot Leukaemia Fund'.



Poems by friends of Rob and family, insupport of RFLF


Here are 34 poems by 15 authors, ranging from deeply moving personal recollections of Rob's last days by his family, to poems full of the joy of creation, by those who either taught or were around Rob in the days his own poetry sprung into life. The collection encompasses musings on the human condition both serious and lighthearted; it provokes, inspires and entertains.
RFLF trustee Dawn Ashford-Denham has written her own poetic reflection in the spirit of "We Remember Rob". Although not available at the time of publication, it is included below:

Who Was He?
I didn't know him.
I didn't know the mortal form or active mind.
I didn't know him.
But through tender words and timeless memories
I know him.


No question.
I know him.

(Dawn Ashford-Denham.)


First published 2006

Available:  £6.50 (plus £1 p&p), from:

Michael and Wendy Foot,
The Old Coach and Horses,
Folgate Lane,
Walpole St Peter,
Cambs PE14 7HS

Cheques payable to 'Robert Foot Leukaemia Fund'.