Poems tagged ‘At the Match’

A Quiet Game of Football

I’ve heard commentators say it was the game of the century
That it was the greatest there was in our living memory
“It would only be fair if both sides could win”
Was heard in the grandstands above the din
And at the end of the day with such a close result
It could never be said that game was dull

When it’s four nil at halftime and the crowd’s gone home
And the team getting thumped have got Stockholm Syndrome
The pundits will say football won on the day
And we’re lucky to see such powerful play.
While I listlessly stare at a circling seagull
I never heard it said once that the game was dull

When the referee constantly stops the play
And both teams appear to be in disarray
All the crowd can do is mumble and groan
And your team scarf hangs like a heavy millstone
Even though some games are just one big lull
You won’t hear it said that the game was dull

As one of the players succumbs to an injury
And you wish all the rest would be put out of their misery
Cos it’s slow and its sloppy and they’re not even rivals
Because neither team can even get into the finals
The commentary is loud and they’re hotly debating
In a desperate attempt to hold on to some ratings
Can’t you get it into your thick skull
You will never hear it said that a game is dull.

1 Comment »

The Half-Time Team Talk

The Half-Time team talk that had to be good

to turn what looked like certain defeat around.

I was once a youth team manager of Tring Tornadoes U/16s

we had led the league the whole season undefeated

but we had another local side hot on our heels.

They had lost one match at our ground earlier in the season

and were just 2 points behind us going into the last match,

with the final game at their ground .


They went for a 9.30 am kick off on a Sunday morning,

with a 40 minute journey and to be ready for kick off

I had to get fifteen 16 year olds up at 7 am

to be ready to go at 7.45 am, not an easy task!

But to a young man they were all ready to go.


At half time we were 2-0 down!

So my half time talk would have to be good.

It would have to be different, exceptional and memorable!

So what do you think I said? I said:

“Lads we have had a great season,

undefeated before this match and we have been top all season.

But with Stokenchurch’s’ gamesmanship

going for an early morning kick off on a Sunday morning,

it has caught us half asleep in the first half.

We know we can play much better than this

so we have to play our hearts out

if we are going to turn this game around.

We have to wake up and start the second half running

and keep it going until the final whistle.

I believe if we play like we can we can do it.


Put it this way, it’s like we have been to a very posh restaurant

and had a fantastic main course, but the restaurant manager

has just told there are only enough desserts/ puddings for one team

and they were going to serve them to you, as you were top of the league.

But now Stokenchurch are top of the league,

they have nicked our puddings and there are non for you, as it stands.

So are you going to let them nick your puddings

or are you going to go out there and nick them back and say

get off those puddings they are ours? “


The team laughed as did the assistant manager and parents

listening in to my half time team talk

“So come on lads get out there and get those puddings back,

they belong to you , not our arch rivals Stokenchurch.”


Within ten minutes of the second half we scored !

Game on!

“Come on lads I shouted,  think about the puddings”

Their team hadn’t a clue what I was talking about.

Some of our lads were smiling.

Thirty minutes in we equalise 2-2 , the comeback was on.

“Come on lads we can get those puddings they belong to us!

We are top of the league not them”


Fifteen minutes to go, end to end stuff, a draw would be enough,

but a defeat wouldn’t.

We would end runners up after leading all season.

One last big shout from me:

“Come on Tring Tornadoes you can do it!

Let’s take this game, we have got them!

Take the puddings off them! “

And we do just that within minutes of the final whistle, we score again.

3-2 to us ! We hold on for what looked like an impossible come back.

We won the league at Stokenchurch!


You should have seen their manager’s face and their team and parents.

They thought it was in the bag.

but they didn’t know I had one special half time team talk up my sleeve:

‘the pudding talk’…and it worked!

That was 21 years ago now,

but I expect not one of those lads

have ever forgotten Mr Icke’s pudding talk.


On the way home with the League Cup Winners Cup on the table,

I treated all the boys to a big ‘fry up breakfast’ at Tesco

I’m not sure how many went for the black pudding option but it didn’t matter now,

that the Half Time team talk had made such a difference

and we won the league at Stokenchurch!”


© Simon Icke


Be the first to leave a comment »

A Minute’s Silence

Across the ground, a pause
as still as the years that follow.

Matchday chat falls to the pit where
lost apple pips lie – feel them

stretch into this emptiness, burst into
boughs, touch all sides

of this amphitheatre struck dumb.
A crowded silence can seem so

deathless. Watch the whistle rise,
embrace the explosion.

1 Comment »

A day with orphans!

‘Who’ll hear the orphan’s cry?
‘They’re full of fear and dread’
We took our team on the road
To play football with them instead

Haji Eusuf orphanage, Chattak
We met 53 orphans that day
Zoinul and Moshahid had it all lined up
Rounding off with some sunset play

We took pictures and shared gifts
The orphans smiles put us to shame
We were itching to get on that pitch
To play the beautiful game

So gaffers Shaheed and Mehdi
List two orphan teams on a pad
Favourites Abdal, Waj, Abu, Yarimi
Bench stars Saif, Diya, Emdad

But we didn’t care for big names
The orphans were fighting fit
They ran and ran like Olympians
With us adding our little bit

I had to pull a trick for a goal
But then Yarimi beat the keeper
My shot came off the post
Diya pounced for the winner

With plenty game time left
It was time for a dirty prank
Poor Abdal smashed into the hoardings
Only way to stop that tank

With Abu pulling the strings
Saif was our brick wall
Ref Jay whistled to give us the win
Our orphans stood proud and tall

‘I’ve never seen them so happy,
‘I pray you’re all blessed from above’
A local expressed her feelings
On football spreading the love

At the Human Relief Foundation
Raisah’s match summary
Gobindogonj has played host to
The ‘best game in HRF history’

‘Who’ll hear the orphan’s cry?
‘They’re full of fear and dread’
We took our team on the road
To play football with them instead

© emdad rahman

Be the first to leave a comment »

Anto Neo

CFC v WBA, 3-0
Goals: Hazard, Moses, Hazard

I attended this match
And brought my bairn
If the Prem be a pile of stones
We’re no longer top of the cairn

The atmosphere was mixed
The title beyond our reach
Performances lately have been ragged
And points we’ve allowed to leach

After a nervy jittery start
We soon rolled in a handsome three
Good to be back on track
And to see us on a spree

An-to-ni-o, An-to-ni-o!
An-to-ni-o, An-to-ni-o!

The manager certainly had our backing
His name chanted between every score
For support he wasn’t lacking
From this unified hard-core

An-to-ni-o, An-to-ni-o!
An-to-ni-o, An-to-ni-o!

With each and every gesture
As he frolicked on the line
The Shed burst into song
That sent a tingle down his spine

An-to-ni-o, An-to-ni-o!
An-to-ni-o, An-to-ni-o!

And such did he acknowledge
When pressed the next day
His partisanship with the crowd
Encouraging him to stay!

Be the first to leave a comment »

Source: http://footballpoets.org/news/poem-tags/at-the-match/