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.

Why I must support Swindon Town at Forest Green

Now I’m not sure if there’s a debate here
About determinism and free will,
Or whether there’s just some sort of reflection
On 50 years spent going to the match,
That LS Lowry feeling of being lost in a crowd,
That loss of sense of self that meant strangers were friends
And friends were never strangers,
For all was empathy and understanding,
And the boot was never on the other foot.
And you can talk as much Sociology,
Psychology or Philosophy as you like,
But the reason you trudged fortnightly to the game
Was because you enjoyed it and because, really,
How could you do anything else?
Who would do anything else?
You went because you loved the game,
And because you had loyalty to your mates,
And because you had a loyalty to your home town,
And because you had loyalty to your team,
And because the team was your town and your town was your team,
And because you were your town and your town was you,
In a syllogistic spiral that counted
For nothing when you put your scarf on –
For the minute wage differences that existed in a one-industry town,
And the fact that footballers didn’t earn much more than anyone else,
Meant that a happy commonality and solidarity
Suffused the town of Swindon!
And so you never imagined that your
Carefully choreographed movement
To and from the ground through the red-brick
Terrace streets of England
Was like some sort of scene from The Wasteland,
Nor did you see it as some sort of extension
Of typical male industrial working class historic traditions,
So that even when you were wearing the height of mod fashion,
You were in fact an anachronism,
For who would think like that?
Nor did you think, when you carefully read
Your programmes at half time,
Or when you re-read them at home,
Or swopped them, or used them,
So as to build up a store house
Of memory and fact and knowledge
About every facet and aspect of the game of Football
That you were, in fact, following i
In the footsteps of working class autodidacts,
The people who caught a glance at the classics
Within the rhythm of the pistons,
Or studied art or poetry or philosophy
Behind the foreman’s back,
Or beneath the chief clerk’s nose or by the ganger’s shovel,
Or by the candle in the attic;
And now just think, how many brilliant minds there were,
In that faceless crowd of so-called untutored intellect,
Living lives that The News Of The World
Never ever dreamed of,
There, in Swindon,
Richard Jefferies’
‘Chicago of the West.’

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Night Games

there’s a certain spark
when the sky turns dark
and we gather from village and town
there’s something right
about the light in the night
when the floodlights loom from the ground
at night games

so you chat with your friends
and you try to pretend
that confidence runs through your veins
so you look at the time
and you say we’ll be fine
and you try to believe it again
at night games

its that magical land
where we sit or we stand
in the same place that we’ve come to know
and the eyes they adjust
as a fan’s eyes must
and the stage is contained in a glow
at night games

it’s a theatre like scene
with a pitch in between
as we go through the stuff we go through
the shadows appear
as we strain and we peer
and the nerves start to build as they do
at night games

but you’re there and you’re back
under skies that turn black
with a feeling of hope ev’rywhere
it’s hard to explain
as we stare through the rain
and the ball seems to slice through the air
at night games

you get fog rolling in
as proceedings begin
or the warmth of some late Summer night
but the atmosphere shakes
as the South Stand awakes
and victory’s there in your sight
at night games

and later alone
as you wind your way home
you reflect on the effort you’ve seen
but the lessons you learn
will not stop your return
like a moth you’re drawn back to the scene
at night games

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Roy and Ray

With those air miles, Roy, you could tour the moons of Jupiter.
Ensure the planets are in correct formation,
no-one stepping beyond their sphere.

Your Wikipedia page has crashed my computer
somewhere between Gravesend and Neuchȃtel
and I’m back to pen and paper

to consider the passage of Europa,
the year Roy and Ray were in its orbit
four hundred years after Simon Marius.

Now the Simon we drink to is Simon Davies
and Europa Passage a side-street in Hamburg.

Roy, Grasshopper of Zürich: one among many.
Ray, you know your exits on the Orbital Motorway:

hornets, eagles, bees near a depleted cottage.
Five spells in the dark and the brightest of suns still ahead.

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Motty – The Man The Coat The Mike

some of us started with Brian Moore
and never knew the truth about Stuart Hall
but the first commentating I ever heard
were Kenneth Wolstenholme’s old skool words
and Archie McPherson’s a passionate Scot
but none of them prepare like brave Johnny Mott

Peter Jones had a fabulous style
and David Coleman by a country mile
Bob Wilson’s quite thoughtful and mild
and Glenn Hoddle still drives psychics wild
Barry Davies had a powerful throat
but John’s got a beautiful sheepskin coat

now Loads find ‘Greeny’ feisty and rude
but Alan’s got passion and attitude
Jimmy Armfield’s got depth and soul
and Jacqui Oatley broke the mould
Jimmy Hill drove me totally potty
but for stats on acid you couldn’t beat Motty

here among the sheep at FGR
you might not know him or where we are
but he likes saying “truthfully” a lot
and Bob Hunt* is the finest we’ve got
win or lose man he’s always there
getting quite excited tearing out his hair

‘but Motty’s the one for the real classic lines
one of them’ll probably last for all time :
“For all of you watching in black and white
Spurs are all- yellow” he said one night
and here’s another that was really well meant:
“The World Cup’s a truly international event”

but I think of Motson wherever I go
standing in a blizzard knee deep in snow
notes in his hand cap on his head
looking like Dell Boy longing for his bed
serious expression standing all alone
telling us “It’s off!”….. as if we didn’t know

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They were warriors fighting for their dreams.
Like children, they played with simplicity,
With great triumph, they painted green
The joy of the immortal game, which to glory was advancing.

They were not exactly a big team, but they were
A large group, and as stars dignified
A shield, more and more shining through the world,
And their uniform was synonymous with a beautiful game.

By their families, they were young workers behind
From a dream, not just for a big tournament,
But for great dignity, they have made hope
Possible, and immortal love, for a victory never forgotten.

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The Kids With the Covered Carts


The neglected pitch is dry and rough
The goalposts taken down
An abandoned ball all scuffed and grubby
And the side-paths overgrown.
Bleak, unloved and empty
The ground no longer used
Nothing left to shout for
To keep the kids amused.
But wait, there is some movement
I see the bushes part
And slowly looking left and right
Comes a kid with a covered cart.
He stops and looks behind
And another boy appears,
He too has a covered cart
That has seen a good few years.
They nod and smile and nod again
And remove the tattered covers,
Tossing out four ragged balls
To share amongst the others.
And the others start arriving
As the word had spread around
That the village kids were gathering
To reclaim the abandoned ground.
Deep in the heart of Zululand
With nothing to their names,
These kids who have so little
Make a plan to play the game.
The balls are made from old cloth pieces
Their ‘boots’ pretty much the same
And the joy that I see on their faces
Just makes me turn and weep,
They have created something from nothing
With their love of a game that runs deep.
There are projects that help kids like this to succeed,
But so much more could be done,
They all need our help, our love and support
To go out and play the beautiful game
Under the African sun.
Ianthe Exall

May 2015

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Buying The League

After last season’s disappointment,
When things just didn’t work out,
Fosun have made the decision,
There’ll be no more messing about.

So calling on Jorgé Mendez,
To consult his little black book,
The players started to arrive,
And Wolves took on a different look.

Nuno Espiríto Santo arrived,
And brought his coaching team,
But when I saw the quality of the players,
I thought it must be a dream.

Loans for Bonatini, Jota and Boly,
And John Ruddy on a free,
But Fosun’s cheque book had to come out,
To get the other three.

Roderick Miranda and Barry Douglas,
Cost a paltry four and a half mill,
But the seventeen million they paid for Neves,
Makes him the star that tops the bill.

With the twenty-five million spent last season,
That’s a forty-seven million spend,
But the bad news for all our rival clubs,
Is that here the story doesn’t end.

Today Fosun announced,
That they’re prepared to still spend more,
To bring in a top class striker,
One that can score goals galore.

When Man City bought the Prem title,
And then Chelsea followed suit,
I was disgusted like everyone else,
But now I don’t give a hoot.

I’ve suffered years of mundane football,
Hoofball, huff and puff,
Now my eyes and brain have joined forces,
To scream enough’s enough!

I yearn for Premiership football,
Perhaps Champions League one day,
And for the first time in decades,
It feels like we’re on our way.

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My First Ever Match……What’s Yours?

my first ever match
at the Bridge
I’m 10 in shorts and the Wolves are in town…
so what’s yours?

I recall that Saturday like yesterday
a steaming summer
our first home game in ‘58
and childlike expectation in the air
August in London and sweltering
“stand clear of the doors!” “wear your colour!”
“official programme sixpence a go!”
“roasted peanuts ‘tanner’ a bag!”
welcome to the season welcome to Wolves
stopping to gaze at star badges
of Blunstone and Greaves in plastic and blue
as bearing down on Stamford Bridge
those teeming weaving crowds
all short-sleeved in the Fulham Road
and in the distance floodlight pylons
tower and loom on blue blue sky
while sun sparkles on concrete old and open
ninepence for kids one and six for adults
but wait what’s this ? sold out and heaving!!
you said “let’s try bunking in” and we did
between the legs in turnstile mayhem
nervous and torn clutching melting lollies
and passed down the front
we sat in awe upon that track
62,000 behind us baying swaying

and do you remember the score?
six-two a blur of blue and gold
of goals and cheers
young Jimmy rampant as that crested lion
Billy Wright chasing shadows
you with two ribbons to a wooden rattle stapled
and me in my rough striped scarf
that mum had sat up half the night
embroidering strange names upon
but I wore it in the heat anyway
and later in the street
on neighours walls with chalk for goalposts
between the ice cream van and the pavement
we lived it through again and again and again
and never knew that to this day we always would

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Wanted Man (at Hounslow Central)

Wanted man at Hounslow Central
Wanted man outside the Stoop
Wanted man on Chiswick High Road
Wanted man at Botanic Kew

Wanted man outside the Beehive
Wanted man in Osterley
Wherever you might look tonight a wanted man you’ll see

Went to sleep in Uxbridge
Woke up in Syon Lane
Now I’m wondering why I’ve ended up
In the bowels of GSK

There’s somebody set to grab me
Anywhere that I might be
And wherever you might look tonight
There’s a kettle without the tea

I got sidetracked by the SEAT
Stopped to get myself a map
Walked the wrong way down the New Road
straight into a honey trap

Wanted man outside the Griffin
Wanted man at Button’s back,
Wanted man at Sainsbury’s local,
dipping in there for a snack

Wanted man on Brentford High Street
Wanted man in Gunnersbury
Wherever you might look tonight a wanted man you’ll see

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The Greatest All Time Vegan Team

the greatest all time vegan team
from Man U Derby Forest Green
from Everton and Liverpool
from Spurs and Arsenal Chelsea too
from Birmingham to QPR
the greatest vegan team by far ,,,,,

Edwin Vanilla Der Sar
Robbie Cabbage
Ashley Coleslaw****
Danny ‘Blanched’ Caulifilower (RIP 1926 –993)
Terry Vegetables
George Gravyham
Aaron Lemon
Soy Of The Rovers (1889- present)
Dixie Bean (RIP 1907 –1980)
Chrisian Soyge
Daniel Porridge

Manager@ Tofuny Pulis

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Source: http://footballpoets.org/poems/