Poetry Archives

This archive contains every poem that has been published on Football Poets. They are listed ten-per-page in reverse chronological order so the most recent poems appear first. Click or tap the arrows in the corners of the page to navigate between pages. It's easier to use the search form below to find a specific poem.

Newcastle- new stadium?

We heard it on the grapevine
Marvin Gaye must have heard
The news, surely
Newcastle United
Those natives are restless
You can almost smell the revolt
The cordite in the air
An incendiary about to blow
Its gasket
Time to move Newcastle
The owners think you need
A new home, new surroundings
That’s what we gather
But a departure from St James Park
That’s almost sacrilege
For the future has to be
Considered, dwelt upon
But St James Park is
A Geordie stately home
Familiarity and tradition
Gliding through the terraces
And seats
With all the serenity
Of a gentle zephyr
Blowing through contented
Minds whirring now
With agitation and fiercely
Against relocation
To another piece of North
East land where the grass
Will always be green
And yet St James Park
Rather like taking the lungs
And heart out of a human body
Depriving the Gallowgate end
Of their nutritious chip butties
Their soul robbed of the
St James’s dramatic
Stentorian roar
52,000 Geordies
Wafting, coaxing
Sucking in goals galore
When Wor Jackie Milburn
Sat on his royal throne
And Len Shackleton was a boy
Of abundance
In hectic penalty areas
Len, goals in his repertoire
Left foot, right foot
Headers hallmarked with gold
Then Wyn Davies, Malcolm Macdonald,
Bobby Moncur, names that rolled off
Discriminating tongues
No silverware regrettably
But surely not
New grounds for complaint
Oh yes
They won’t be best pleased
On Tyneside
Magpies ransacking
Crumbs of comfort
Saudis want St James Park
To be consigned to history
Never in a million years
They tell us in their thousands
We’re staying right here

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The melodies of 3-0

Everton v Newcastle 3-0
This kind of brave and
convincing display
by Everton is some kind of
Amadeus Mozart music when
the passes were followed by
Ole! and Ole!
But there is all the music of
the world that can cover the highlights of the match
Or at least for us the fans
this victory is all the music of the world
Opera of Liverpool Echo
And now the F.A
and 10 points story
are below Everton glory
When France won the World Cup in 1998
the song was heared everywhere
“Et un et deux et trois zeroo”
This comes to my mind after
Everton v Newcastle
I sing “Et un et deux et trois zeroo”

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Euro 2024- the draw

On the day when
The FA Cup’s grand
Bourgeoisie found
Their station in life
The January third round
And those at the higher
End of privilege
And entitlement
Meet the earthy
Grassroots of the
Artisans and tradesmen
Of the lower Leagues
Once again Euro 2024
Hoves into view
Yesterday the draw
Paired together
Europe’s ennobled
Emperors with
Those who quite
Frankly just make
Up the numbers
It’s inferior although
Adequate against France,
Germany, Spain, England,
Facing the fishes swimming
Against the tides
That follow the rest of the
Plankton fighting for recognition
And just falling short,
Hungary, Austria and Switzerland
All worthy and well intentioned
Protagonists of this German play
But sadly overshadowed
By too many glowing shades
Of superiority
Both Hungary, Austria and Switzerland
Once World Cup notabilities
In years and decades gone by
And yet lacking upper body strength
Switzerland once hosts of the Jules
Rimet Cup
Now which skiing slope
Provided the backdrop for
That scenic contest back then?
England for their part
In the most soft focus group
Serbia, Slovenia and Denmark
It could hardly be easier
Book your advanced tickets
Before the Barmy Army
Converge in their multitudinous
Droves, descending on the finest
Of foaming steins of German beer
On paper this could be pieces of cake
But football was never about marzipan,
Battenberg or Black Forest Gateau
Now that’s appropriate
Serbia and Slovenia
Surely overcome without a hint
Of struggle but you never know
With England,
Time for perspective
Never underestimate
At your peril
But victory should
Be for Gareth Southgate’s
Battled hardened soldiers
Only Danish pastries
Could be too sticky and sweet
For discerning English palates
Denmark, never to be
Lightly dismissed
And fully paid up members
Of the football awkward squad
Entertainers for as long as
Any of us can remember
How shocked we were
When Christian Eriksen
Fell horrifically
To the ground
And Danish hearts
Skipped a beat as well
But now the Danes
Offer much more than
Blood, sweat and tears
Pass masters when the
Stars are aligned
And the moon is smiling
Radiantly over the
Bavarian mountain ranges
But now is the time
To take stock before
Fulsome festive fun
And then look ahead
To sparkling German
Football exhibitions
Next summer
Where Scotland return
To European markets
On the well upholstered
Platforms of German
Yes Scotland you’re
Up first next summer
Against the hosts Germany
It seems brutally unfair
Since we know how unforgiving
The Germans can be
When they’re riled
And wounded by slanderous
Accusations of not being ready
Or up to the task
Let the tartan brigades
Dry clean their kilts
And tune up their melodious
Forget the distant mists
Of historic Culloden
And Bannockburn
Mere blots on
The past but
Now the purest sheets
Await Scotland
In yet another Euros
Open the pages slowly
But no pomposity from
Decades gone by
When Ally was convinced
His Tartan army
Would be world champions
In no time at all
More of the restrained
Tones and bass lines of
Willie Ormond
Modesty personified
Although just as hungry
For legendary fame
Low key but ambitious
All the same
So let’s lick our lips
Once again
At European football’s
Top table
Foie Gras followed by
The meatiest steak
Cutlery and crockery
Spick and span
The best is yet to come

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Three Teams Worse Than We Are

At least we’ll be here a year from now because
there’s three teams worse than we are
who deserve to go down.

You can park your bus in our midfield,
drive a tractor through our defence.
Slalom freely our wide-open flanks,
test our goalkeeper’s positional sense.

We’ve failed to replace our ageing stars,
and our recruitment policy is a farce.
Our tactics have lost the plot,
and our corridor of uncertainty runs box to box.

We’re rubbish and we know it,
but there’s three teams worse than we are
who deserve to go down.

Trouble is, every time we say those words,
they come with a creeping sense of doubt.

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Welcome, Harriers

A bitter Marsh Lane for Kidderminster,
Cup o’ Bovril and a piping hot Ginsters,
Or something just like one, from out o’ the hatch,
And then, there’s the whistle, and eyes one the match;
Both teams promoted, with something to prove,
the hoops were the first to make their move,
with a classic scramble in front of goal
And Andre Burley to bundle it home.

A pretty tense and even affair,
Chances at either end, to be fair,
But then Canice Carol played one through
And Olly Sanderson made it two.

– (And what a belter that was.)

Two nil up then, and riding high
And three minutes left to go til half time…
But football, well, it’s a funny old game –
The way a game turns… ahhh; you feel my pain.

First, a foul that wasn’t a foul
Earning Parker a yellow, that was never a yellow,
Which led to a corner that wasn’t a corner,
That led to a pen, that was never a pen,
Which led to a goal at the Nick of half time…
And I’ll take your word that their next was sublime,
‘Cos I admit, I heard the away crowd cheer
Just after the break… but, I was still at my beer.

From two nil up, to a level two-two,
What more from the boys in the white and blue?
A decent enough display, but in fact
What we had was a bit like a Tier 6 scrap,
Between these two newly promoted teams,
Both of them chasing an identical dream,
And after a hundred minutes of fight and toil,
These drop-zone rivals shared the spoils.

Well; that point puts us on twenty-one
From twenty two played… so not a lot wrong.
Game twenty-three next – so let’s fill The Shed
Mark halfway with three points ‘gainst Maidenhead…

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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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Claret and blue triumph again

This hardly seems possible
Christmas festivities just
Around the corner
And West Ham begin to
Believe that Santa
Has already arrived
In garments of claret and blue
The European odyssey
Has now taken them
Beyond their wildest dreams
Credit rather than debit
To our Scottish guru
And motivator supreme
David Moyes
Yesterday drinking
The heartiest whiskies
On St Andrews Day
Job done, complete
Out of the probationary
Period when group stages
Tested their mettle
But last night
West Ham underline
Their significance
On the European stage
Prestige and supremacy
Signature on the dotted line
Through to the knock out
Point of serious business
Of Europa League combat
Backa Topola of Serbia
Now just some historical
Footnote in the dusty
Pages of yellowing
European football
Documents and files
Well thumbed and read
Soucek, another Czech mate
Greets knights and bishops
With a withering glare
Now that was too easy
West Ham rest your weary feet
And prepare again for Euro
Travels yet again next year
A goal that meant nothing
In the bigger picture
But this one had been
Completed ages ago
Back to the Palace
At Sunday lunchtime
It was always thus
Where the London Stadium
Awaits its regal guests
And Roy Hodgson
Looks for notorious
Soft spots in the Hammers
Defensive bastions
Sunday was never their day
For play
Where once Family Favourites
Would normally take up
Our sabbath leisureliness
But normally would occupy
That spot where the gravy
Dresses our roast dinners
And we just drooled over
Our simple pleasures of
Jogging gingerly and then
Sprinting for the line
And dad, how I loved you,
That commitment to cleanliness
Of the Ford Cortina
With sponges constantly wet
Then washed so wonderfully
To the point where
He could see his adoring neighbours
Reflections on his wing mirror
Of times long since gone
And yet West Ham are now
In our vision
Football was never part
Of his beef and brussel sprouts
Your lunchtime exchange
In family kitchens and
Well prepared feasts
Thanks mum, you were always
We knew and recognised as such
I knew that football was never
Your Saturday journey to
5 in the late afternoon
And classified results
But West Ham
Return to the Premier League
Turn on the ignition
Fire up the engine
Crank up the gears
Premier League revelry
Again, again
This weekend
It has to be
Domestic rivalries
Football of course
It has to be when
TV says so
We can hear and
See you clearly
In the distance
Thundering over the
Hills and moors
West Ham be

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Manchester United struggle in Europe

Manchester United fold
Like the proverbial deck of cards
The king and queen of hearts
Residing nobly
Back at Buckingham Palace
But United stumble
In Europe like a drunken sailor
Not for the first time
Up one minute then down
The next
Where once the Champions League
Held few terrors and fears
Now the Theatre of Dreams
At Old Trafford
Finds anguished souls
Nervously biting fingernails
In the wings
Rehearsing their lines
But fluffing and then
Bluffing their way
Through the troubled seas
Of Europe’s most explosive
Galatasary, the roads leading
To hell in a handcart
Turkey, the nation
That once greeted English
Club football with a poisonous
Intake of baleful bile
And sickening toxins
Hatred at first sight
Enemy territory
For a brief 90 minutes
But last night
Manchester United revisited
The scene of the abhorrent
Crime of the century
Football fans at their most
Volatile and violent
Back then, although
United once again fragile
As feathers in the wind
Apparently cruising
Towards the placid lakes
Of victory
Until half time
When the rusty hinges
Clearly in need of oiling
Just broke
Bruno Fernandes normally
The dependable captain of United’s
Glamorous ship
Found leaking holes
On cabin ceilings
Splice the mainbrace
Ten Haag, guide
Your team into
Safer waters
Bruno scores and Scott
McTominay rubs salt
Into Turkish wounds
But not for long
United look to be
In the mood of plain
Sailing, we knew they
Would, almost certainly
But then Galatasary
Achieved Turkish delight
The comeback
Sweetest of comebacks
No chocolate coated
Evenings for United
Simply another subsidence
Capitulating to their fate
Garnacho just a distant spectator
Of United’s first opening goal
Consigned to the dustbin of
Historic deeds
When Ole and Teddy, Fergie’s fledglings
Sent Bayern Munich into an
Agonising downward spiral
In the Champions League Final
Of the last century’s dying embers
United victorious that night
But since blowing hot and cold
Six goals in Turkey
Last night
And Christmas on our doorstep
Shortly, United without the stuffing
Or cranberry sauce
Almost strangers in the room
Papering over cracks
In the Premier League
Slowly emerging from hibernation
But United still searching
For crumbs of consolation
Since this is not the United of old
When tough guy Roy Keane,
Ingenious sorcerers Beckham, Giggs,
Butt, Sheringham and the equally as
Magical Paul Scholes
Read the most enthralling plots
United about as far removed
From where they were
Back then
Goals in their armoury
But still naive and easily
Outwitted by those
Who may know slightly more
Gullible as the gambler
Who keeps flirting with danger
At the roulette tables
And then throws his chips away
As their fortunes sink
United far from the finished article
Where once this art installation
Were soothing images in our
Mesmerised eyes
Meanwhile Arsenal polish off
Their plates of meat and potatoes
Lens simply the clearest lens
In the Gunners focus on
Champions League glory
Effortless and a walk
In the Emirates park
North London preparing
Now for festive feasts
On the domestic front
Job done against the
French resistance
6-0, men against boys
Arsenal score six of the
Best, it might have been
A ton given half the chance
Priorities switch to Premier
League title winning aspirations
Where battles are fought over
38 games of psychology and kidology
Over breakfast, lunch and tea
Mind games galore, tactical formations
By the thousand
Like bewildering mazes
In players heads
Mangers with agendas
And now potty VAR rules
Dictating free kicks and corners
Utter madness rules
What on earth is going on here?
The FA has lost its marbles
But United and Arsenal
Soldier on

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Terry Venables

Oh Venners how we’ll miss you
Terry Venables
A comfortable seat in heaven
Awaits you, sir
Although never knighted
But we were simply delighted
To be part of your star studded
Journey, the voyage that seemed
To decorate 1996 with the
Finest polish, a vibrant varnish
Gleaming into the smiling faces
Of the old Wembley Stadium
On that night of nights
When the Germans briefly trembled
You restored our faith in human
Nature and impulse
Terry Venables
Your enduring and heart warming
Faith in Gazza
When most of us thought
The cheeky rascal
From our trusted Geordie
Lands of lavish gifts
Just sobbed like a baby
As Lineker winked
At dear Sir Bobby
And then
From the early days on the Bridge
Crossing frontiers
Far and wide
When Chelsea belonged
To the showbiz and film star
Network of gallivanting glamour
Across the roads and streets
Of our formative childhood
Terry Venables always in
The luxury first class suite
Of footballers with class,
Knowledge and footballing erudition
The first rungs on the ladder
Before QPR called from the West London
Back streets where football
Demanded Venners presence
Terry, over here son
Spurs require your services
At once
Along the painterly portrait
Of Danny Blanchflower
The fearless Dave Mackay
Like an unconquerable mountain
We were in oceans of space
Nobody’s marking me at all
His extravagant talent glinting
Like a nugget of
Quite magnificent gold
Venners took tenancy in midfield
The orchestrator, the woodwind
And percussion section,
Analysing the game like
A learned professor
From the finest red brick
A lecturer on the game
In later life
When the game was described
In different text books
Here’s football
Nothing complicated El Tel
But he knew from deep within
An earnest encyclopaedic mind
Always working, scheming, plotting,
Thinking like Rodin
Destined to be a manager
When Spurs reached out to
The Dagenham dynamo
With fiercely ambitious fingers
That finally reached out to grasp
For precious silverware
In 1991 when Cloughie and Venners
Stood side by side
FA Cup Final in tandem
When Gazza had that famous rush of
Blood to head and almost
Pressed the self destruct
Button, when all seemed
Perfectly innocent
But Terry Venables lifted
The Cup
Those laurels of victory
So richly deserved
In a storied career
As player and boss
At the highest level
Then the High Court
Intervened and trouble
Brewed ever so briefly
But Venables was always
Made of sterner stuff
Stainless steel,
Hard as Fergie’s granite
From Aberdeen
A player articulating the
Most clearly enunciated
Vowels and consonants
Football’s semantics
Its romantic ideals
How the game should be
Exhibited with art
And ostentation spiced
With just a dash of
Fluid flamboyance
The good stuff
Players felt good
And lifted by
The silvery tongue
Of Venners
Before 1996 dawned
And the nation willed
England forward
To the elusive fantasy
Of Euro 96 glory
Sadly the Germans
Stifled our hopes
In a classic moment
Of retribution for
The day thirty years
Earlier, oh shucks so near
But then far away
It was always the Germans,
So the semi final at Wembley
Fields of Euro rejoicing
Spain, after gripping penalty
Shoot out,
The Netherlands blown
Away by an orange tidal wave
Of white English shirts
Steady Teddy Sheringham,
Alan Shearer they all jumped
Onto the fairground odyssey
Before the Germans
Surrounded England with
Far more lethal ammunition
Alan Shearer nods the opener
For Terry’s delectation
And the Germans spoil the
Evening with a leveller
At this moment
We knew the worst
For 1996 read 1970 World Cup
When Sir Alf and Venners
Thought they’d rumbled the
Opposition with
Breathless foresight
Gazza lunges decade defining
Leg at the sharpest of cut backs
Oh how desperately close
And yet extra time gave
Us no rich bumper crops of harvests
Of goals, sadly the winner
Just seemed to escape from Venables
Penalties our undoing yet again
Gareth Southgate, eyes on the ball
And normally deadly on the spot
But driven at the German keeper
As the ball crashed straight into Teutonic
Patellas, knee caps stung
The famous obstacle again
Terry Venables face, a picture of
Despair, lips pursed and then bitten
With the harshness of the moment
Front teeth clenched together
In a study of frozen frustration
Next to him Don Howe
Speechless, it always happens
To England
The collaboration of fate
And just unfortunate circumstance
El Tel though
Our hero, your hero
Because loyalty was essential
To his football CV
Terry Venables always alive
And receptive to the latest trends
But just wanted his players
To express his philosophy
In simple words, everyday remarks
In recent years
Launching well constructed menus
In swanky Spanish restaurants
The football public and community
Will miss you El Tel
The laddish banter,
Down to earth authenticity
Venners was one of us
El Tel
Football will never
Forget you, it would
Be criminal to do so

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Terry Venable – The Rock The Fuse RIP

on heady days stood in the Shed
for six sweet years you were
imperious and smiling
as we tore out our hair
when I was young on Saturdays
I’d be there win our lose
and you stood firm composed and sure
in our old Sixties Blues

you played five hundred times for us
and wore the shirt with pride
with your mate Greavesie there up front
in that old Chelsea side
with Jim on fire we’d bang them in
but always seemed to be
completely un-predictable
and often all at sea

but outside that old office
all covered in ivy
inside my book of autographs
you signed your name for me
and long before the El Tel days
you were the rock the fuse
and you stood firm composed and sure
in our old Sixties Blues

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