Poems tagged ‘Obituary’

Stan Bowles- a tribute

And so the flame has been
Snuffed out completely
Stanley, oh Stanley
Rebel, non conformist
Vices and temptations
You succumbed to so
But the nation loved you
And always will
Stan Bowles now no longer
The Saturday afternoon darling
Who beguiled, charmed, educated
Those who thought football was just a dull
Rumbling noise
That flared into orange
Balls of fire
At Loftus Road
Stan Bowles
Maverick mischief maker
Never where he should have
Been when the West London
Streets called him back
In for tea
Absorbed by the bookies bug
Where the familiar
Bets on the 2.15
At Market Rasen
And Sandown
Prevailed for a while
While the 3.00
Kick off beckoned
At the business end
Of the old First Division
Just a flutter
He cried and implored
Bowles, the clandestine punt
On our four legged friends
But don’t tell
Those in the
Highest authorities
Gordon Jago must have
Known of course
But Stan lived his life
To the full, on the edge
The threshold of a step
Too far
And yet Stan Bowles
Was the epitome of class
And style
Silky, sinuous hips on the
Ball, slaloming past opponents
Tricking, teasing and taunting
That was hard wired into his DNA
Trapping and stunning a ball
With crafty deviousness
And duplicity
Football was Stan’s
Lifelong romance
Firstly at City for a while
But then seduced by the bright
Lights of lovely London town
Almost the Talk of the Town
Pavements of gold
And feverish expectation
Stan the sorcerer of course
Sometimes condemned to the
Naughty step and then fined
Heavily for misdemeanours
Too many
Late nights,
Boozy early mornings
When the pubs were locked
Down and then opened
For the beery misfits
Stan was the shining star
The best of the best
One of the boys
The personification of
Roguishness, another of
Those lively lads
Whatever happened to them?
It could have been so different
For England
If only you’d hit the pillow
At a respectable hour
But the nights went on forever
And the heady hedonism
Sent your head to into a dizzying
Swirl in the good time set
But Stan was our finest
Ripping up the script
And doing things his way
A joyous court jester
In football’s frenetic
We’ll never forget you.

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The measure of our dreams

I buried myself in my sport
There’s no doubt I gave it my all
For whenever a match was mentioned
Without fail, I always heeded the call

Put a ball at my feet
And I was off like a whippet
Always to the sound of my own commentary….
“Beats one, beats two”; and that’s just a snippet

But post-match
We all loved a thundering tune
And in amongst the crooners and boomers
There was only one who made me swoon

“Thousands – are – sailing
A-cross, the west-ern ocean”;
A lachrymose lament to the diaspora
Laced with all sorts of homesick notions

“To a land of op-por-tun-ity
That some of them, will never see”;
Just like me and my fellow dreamers
Pro ballers, that we’ll never, ever, be

So with “fortune prevailing”
From his Annual Christmas airing
Shane will now join up with Kirsty
Making a fine celestial pairing

Meanwhile, all we fans can do
Is continue with our dreaming
In the hope that football and music
Will continue to keep us beaming

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Francis Lee- an obituary

We’ll never forget Franny
How could we ever overlook the
Snarl, the growl and bite,
The sound and fury
That physical reaction
When once Franny Lee
Exploded with anger
Seething, simmering
The Baseball Ground
Had never seen
Anything like it
Since the gypsy’s curse
Which disturbed the furniture
Rocked Derby County
When the 20th century was still
In its cot, bawling its eyes out
But Francis Lee and Norman Hunter
Squared up to each other
Like schoolchildren in the playground
Behind the bike shed
Lee, bursting a blood vessel
While Stormin’ Norman
Of the parish of Leeds
Who once bit legs for a living
Hunter and Lee
The Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua
Of football’s lion’s den
It was Derby against Leeds
The heavyweight contest
That just fizzled out within minutes
Amid the mud and mayhem of the Midlands
Franny Lee, a bruiser and battler
No pugilistic background
But just fired up and galvanised
Heart on sleeve
Put them up Franny
Muttered Norman under
Seething breath,
Incandescent as the winter
Floodlights at the Baseball Ground
But serial winner of League Championships
At City and Derby
Now put that in your pipe and
Smoke it
Two achievements on the home front
While European trophies were not
That far away
After the game
Business was business
Deeply lucrative
Money in his pocket
In retirement
He never grumbled
Discontentedly at Derby
Before the horses beckoned
And the racing fraternity
Made him flush and blush
With yet more success
England caps but of course
The contours of Franny Lee’s
Career had been mapped out
Look at that face
So one BBC legend
Once reacted
Interesting he quoted
Very interesting
But Franny Lee
Was consistency itself
Utterly engrossing
Scheming, conniving, hustling
Tireless and red blooded
Never flinching or faltering
Crunch went the tackles
Goals galore
Particularly the thunderbolt
Which almost woke up Manchester
City where he’d once shone
Like a beacon
Oh Francis Lee
What a player for all seasons
We’ll miss the gold, silver
The most legendary trooper

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Vialli Vialli

Vialli Vialli
In stereophonic symmetry
Crying out across the land
Tonight at the Bridge
Chelsea lower their flags
For their beloved one
Gianluca Vialli
Today departs from
His West London home
Of his stunningly
Ornamented career
Where the love flowed
From the vocal adenoids
Of the Shed, full throated
Appreciation of special
Moments and times
Of shifty feet,
Darting, sensing,directing
The flow of traffic
When Chelsea purred forward
Measurement and thought in
Every pass and tackle
Then the explosion of goals
Outside and inside penalty
Areas, an infuriating pest
To bamboozled defenders
Lethal and lissome, bold
But never cold
Classically striking up front
Accompanied by Zola
The double, dynamic team
Of the Italian job
With no assistance at all
From Michael Caine or
Benny Hill
Although Vialli did blow
Those stubborn doors down
But now Vialli is sadly
No longer in the world
Of the Blues unfurled
When the rhythms of the
Nation during the magnificent
Ancestors of Cooke, Wilkins,
Hutchinson, Webb, Alan Hudson
Spread harmony across the fields
Of Stamford Bridge
While the winds of change
Brought cultural shifts
And the Premier League was born
So too, the impeccable Cantona,
The eternally stylish Bergkamp,
Henry haughty, but blisteringly
Lethal up front at the haven of
Arsenal’s Highbury
But now Gianluca Vialli
Leaves this earth
With wisps of joy
Floating with feet
Of smoothness
Then the afterburners
Of acceleration, what pace
Another streak of lightning
But Vialli was simply unstoppable
Above the turmoil, hurly burly
Touched with class and higher realms of
Ethereality, the most delicate touch
On another planet surely
An angel of the Bridge
The stamp of legend
Where the first seeds of promise
Flowered then properly flourished
In the 21st century of Chelsea’s
Wildest fantasies
Once Drake’s ducklings
Now the neatly moulded
Creations of the Potter’s wheel
But now the legacy of Vialli’s
Leaves its well chiselled features
For ever more.

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Heaven Struck By Thunderbolt (R.I.P Peter Lorimer)

The strike of a thunderbolt blasts past Heaven’s Gates
and God says to Jack Charlton
“‘ere’s one of your mates,
I know Trevor and Norman
will be both happy too,”
as he nods to Saint Peter
to let Lorimer through.

“There’s a place for you Peter
out there on that wing.
Now be easy with your shooting
cos your shots don’t ‘arf sting.”

So he met with his Leeds team- mates
and they reminisced of the past
as Revie watched proudly
at Peter having a blast.

So Rest in Peace to the Scotsman
with the right foot of power
that terrified free kick walls
and made goalkeepers cower.

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Bobby Kellard (he was Well ‘ard)

Some players are born to ramble
Others play for just one side
Bobby Kellard played for eight different teams
And led them all with pride.

Robert Sydney William Kellard
A north Londoner by birth
A born and natural, feisty leader
And a salt man of the earth

Near the earth, he was we know
Standing only five feet four
But anyone tackled by Bobby Kellard
Always came out bruised and sore

His son Rob was often told by fans
‘you’re dad was a dirty player’
“No, he was just a little bit ‘ard,” said Rob
“He always tried to play it fair.”

He started out with Southend United
Then was signed, by Palace boss Dick Graham
And in midfields throughout the football world
Bobby Kellard caused sheer mayhem.
Combative, ferocious, tenacious
Were descriptive words for Bobby
Whose ruthlessness in winning tackles
Was on par with MacKay and Nobby.

Sold by Palace to Ipswich town
Was the man with the chest of barrel
Bought by Bristol City, Pompey,
and then Leicester’s Frank O’Farrell
He re-signed for Palace in 71
About forty grand we paid
And after just half a dozen games
Our captain he was made.
He led us into battle
Saved the team from relegation
Loved by all the Palace fans
For his inspirational dedication.
He weren’t no Martin Peters
And he weren’t no Johnny Giles
But to the fans of Crystal Palace
He brought happiness and smiles.

He was transferred back to Pompey
Where he made the history books
Being the first player ever sent off on a Sunday
After throwing a few right hooks.
So Bobby you were a rare one
A captain through and through
While some players for brekks have cornflakes
It was nails that you would chew.
So for all the clubs you rambled
And all the grounds you played
The name of Bobby Kellard
Will never, ever fade.

R.I.P. Bobby

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R.I.P. Diego

Diego dribbled up to heaven
Where he met Saint Peter at the gate.
who looked at his credentials
And said “give me a minute mate.”

He then came back from God’s room
Saying, “I’m sorry but you’re banned
God said one time you borrowed
But did not return his hand.

So you’ll do some time in purgatory
Where you’ll repent with other sinners
And you won’t be allowed in heaven
Until England are World Cup winners.”

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“Don’t Get Me Wrong.” (R.I.P. Ray Clemence)

Graeme Souness, of his keeper
Brad Friedel did rave
As he acknowledged his brilliance
for an exceptional save.
“If it were nae for Brad,
Blackburn would have got hammered today
It was only himself that kept Tottenham at bay.”
He said, ” Brad’s better than Bosnich,
that bloke from Australia
And more agile than Seaman and the Pool’s Pepe Reina
He reminds me of Shilton
in that he hardly does wrong
No wonder our fans
sing his name out in song.”
With the interview near finished
Graeme thought hard and long
And he started his last sentence
By saying, don’t get me wrong.


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Nobby Stiles, RIP

That cheeky toothless grin
That enormous will to win
Was the foundation stone

That famous jaunty jig
That doughty heart so big
Made the German’s groan

But United we stand
All (virtually) hand in hand
To acknowledge your passing

So easy to detect
Our love and respect
As absolute and everlasting

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Parked Run

I crossed over the road from the undertakers
walked in through the park gate
and there it was:
my old pitch, bathed in beautiful sun
still there
still marked, still in obvious use
And I remembered back
to my very first game –
you got me hand-me down footwear, aye,
but just like “Billy’s Boots”, they became my very own
and I scored 2 goals
and you were so proud
and so pleased for me.
After that, you didn’t watch much
for you were never a ‘soccer mom’
but you were great for the fundraisers
your baking legendary, ditto your infectious sense of fun
and as ever, you got me started, got me going, chivvied me along
knowing my interest.
I didn’t score many more goals
for I was better as a defender
likewise you, protecting Dad, Adrian & Claire.

Many years have passed
and now I’m back where it all started
here in Bushy Park
slogging my way around the original Parkrun venue
but I have you at my shoulder, egging me on
in fact pushing me on, to a PB.
Ok, it’s not enough, to get my name
reverberating around Stamford Bridge
nor Griffen Park
but as I stagger over the finish line
I know I have many more races left in me
your race has run.
The pain is etched in my heart
as you help God roll out the sun.

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