When I returned from a trip away last year, there was someone who had just started submitting to the site : Peter Goulding – and what an impact he’s had! Pete has to be one of our most poular and prolific poets.
Having just returned again from holyers, I’m enjoying catching up with another new crop : a warm welcome to Rob Lyn, Angela Stevens, Mark ‘Seahorse’ Staniforth, Glenn Walker and Alan McKean.
I’m reproducing a poem apiece from Glenn and Alan below. Glenn has been writing with real passion about his fears of Bradford City folding.
Alan McKean obviously works (or did) at Bolton Wanderers Reebok Stadium. He has been giving us a wonderful insight into the behind-the-scenes activies at a Premiership club. Fascinating stuff.
City ’til I Die
My heart beats faster with each passing hour,
My nerves are flaying at the thought,
A once proud club is at deaths door,
No solace can be sought.
No floodlit nights, no sunlit days,
No breathing in the thrill,
No fears, no tears, no joy, no pain,
No singing out at will.
No Wolves or Wembley, no Liverpool,
No great escape or more,
No heroes, foes or enemies,
No last bus home, no score.
No red and gold, no tales be told,
No dancing girls, no sound,
Only emptiness and decay is left,
On the Bradford City ground.
The ghosts of heroes from years gone by,
Wander through the gloom,
Whilst the pain and torment we suffer now,
Is pending on our doom.
One hundred years, ten thousand tears,
A million questions, why?
But no matter what the answer is,
“I’m City ‘Til I Die.”
© Glenn J Walker July 2004
And as for Alan McKean : So many good contributions to choose from! Being a big old softie, I’ve gone for two moving tributes.
Maine Road – Late 1950’s
I remember walking with my dad
To watch the mighty Blues
Ply their trade at Maine Road.
When you’re six or seven
A mile and a bit walk seems a world away,
Even when you’re small hand in large.
As you tramp through late 1950’s Manchester,
With it dark and damp winter streets
And its hissing trolley buses,
You anticipate, in your six-year-old way, the game.
But your first port of call
Is the “Big Alex”
So dad can have a pint before the match.
All the dads inside, with a pint
All us kids outside, with our crisps and lemonade.
It was acceptable then.
Time to go, the Kippax calls.
Will Bert Trautmann play, or Joe Hayes?
At six or seven, you don’t care,
You’re just happy to be there,
With your dad.
Special days back then.
The results weren’t that important to you,
Just being there, was.
City centre grounds were like family gatherings.
You stood in the same spot each fortnight, with the same people around you.
Players weren’t paid in telephone numbers
Tickets didn’t cost an arm and two legs,
But then, the grounds were tatty and smelly.
Times change, and the Blues now play in luxury,
And results are everything.
All games must be won.
The faithful now demand results
In exchange for their costly tickets.
© Alan McKean July 2004
Thanks dad (Died 1983)
He walks his hallowed turf
And ponders the dreams to be played out there.
From Arsenal to Manchester United to-
Almost any team, depending on the cup run.
He knows each blade of grass,
Knows when to cut,
When to water
When and where to make repairs.
Each square inch
Has been lovingly tended
Over the long summer break.
A long cut, a close cut
As the opening game approaches,
The pitch is cut to perfection,
Marked out with precision.
The image seen is a tribute to his art.
The Tv pundits,
All congratulate him on the outcome,
Before they start their work on his masterpiece.
He knows that his grass must stand the test of time,
But he’s just as professional as the players.
He knows it will.
The players also acknowledge his craft.
© Alan McKean July 2004
For Richard at the Reebok Stadium
but for all groundsmen, who create the arena