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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.

Punk, Football, and the Armadillo Tearooms

These days I am of the age
Where my football heroes
And my music heroes
Are dropping like leaves from a tree
The clock is ticking, the bell tolls for us all
The not so slow return of Christmas
When I have lived through so many
The echoes of childhood
Of boss new football bags and adidas trabs
Bought with those stock-piled embassy coupons
Of Mam and Dad’s
Or the local Twiggy* (no questions asked)
Prestige in the playground
Battle lines drawn up
Derby Day, us v them bitter blues
And those halcyon teenage moves
Through the lens of Punk, Football
And the Armadillo Tearooms.

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Ray Kennedy

Ray Kennedy
For those who were
Not of a red persuasion
Be it Liverpool or Arsenal
Ray Kennedy decorated
The Beautiful Game
With ornate patterns
Embellished with rich
Textures of class and
Style, a style icon
Sadly though
Ray Kennedy
Of the parish of
Highbury and Anfield
Died today, nobly
Majestically adorning
The seats of learning
Of football’s finest
Theatres and galleries
Our Ray, cultured feet
So visionary and radical
In his thinking
Seeing by far the bigger
Picture, the wider scheme
Of things,
Constantly imagining
Perceptive angles
A model of trigonometry
On a football pitch
Now there’s a thought
When Charlie George and
George Graham carved
Vivid images at Highbury
And Kenny Dalglish
Fed on a substantial diet
Of goals from the Kennedy
wand of sorcery
Then England came calling
And of course our Ray
Was the metronome
Swinging metrically perfect
Passes into fecund and feverish
Penalty areas
Guiding the ball, cajoling and coaxing
It, breathing life and encouragement
Into the birth of a game
The quiet man, the unfussy man
A man of huge footballing intellect
Towering above the rest with that
Ever present air of upper class
Refinement, a player of cultivated
Bearing, a conductor of all
Orchestral themes
Farewell Ray Kennedy.
Thankyou our friend.

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Ray Kennedy

We all tried to copy your passes
When we were kids
After watching you split open
The best defences
But we couldn’t match you
No one could, tho they tried
There was only ever one “Razor”
Shanks knew, and so did Bob…
God bless your heart
You gave us pride
The Liver Bird found a haven
Perched upon your chest
Found no better home than with
The quiet man
Whose dignified boots
Spoke words of wisdom, glory, truth
The Liverpool Way.

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Bent on Revenge

We last clashed ten long months ago,
On Liverpool’s own turf.
And on that day, the whole world knows,
We Toffees proved our worth.

Two goals scored by the Boys in Blue,
While from the Reds not one.
So when the final whistle blew,
‘Twas clear to all – we’d won!

A monkey shaken off our backs,
A hoodoo exorcised,
It’s such a shame the pubs were shut,
But we got drunk on pride.

All that’s now ancient history,
We face a challenge new:
Another visit from the Reds,
Who mean to die or do.

That lot aren’t used to losing,
It’s really not their style.
Their Trophy Room is full of pots,
Ahead of us by miles.

That loss at Anfield must have hurt,
Their pride was truly dented.
No greater shame have any felt
Since football was invented.

They want to get their own back,
Of that we’re well aware.
The Reds are hellbent on Revenge,
Beware! Beware! Beware!

28/11/21
Denys E. W. Jones

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Something Happ’ning On The Hill

there’s something happ’ning on the hill
belief is growing as it will
with far to go this time around
we keep our feet upon the ground
but confidence is there to see
in Rob and Richie’s Green Army

away fans loathe our vegan fare
our hilltop ground is way up here
it’s bitter when the cold kicks in
but nothing matters when we win
and when at last we get to see
our wooden stadium we’ll be
a football vision green and clear
but still we will miss coming here

arriving early just to park
and finding places in the dark
the fans who climb it ev’ry time
the little wooden match day sign
that sits beside the roundabout
when we are walking in and out
arriving early just to park
and finding places in the dark

but standing in the South Stand here
the drumming and the atmosphere
reminds us of our non-league dream
for this our little village team
and though we’ve not been there before
the League One beckons here once more

but these are early days it’s true
we’ve been on top it’s nothing new
and usually we find a way
to let our lead just slip away
but this time there’s a diff’rent feel
it’s like we’re on a rolling wheel

it’s in our hands to see it through
to make those dreams and visions true
where ev’ry man’s a vital part
and plays with passion and with heart
and always show they’re proud to
be a part of Forest Green FC

but while it’s happ’ning on the hill
excitement mounts the way it will
and hopefully this time we’ve found
a way to keep feet on the ground
but confidence is there to see
in Rob and Richie’s Green Army

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What would Peter Jones & Bryon Butler have thought?

During the days when radios crackled
Through the ether and beyond
The celestial voices of Peter Jones
And Bryon Butler joined us through
The drizzle, snow and rain
Of wintry evenings
Football’s gracious guardians
Voices of silk, molasses, honey
Radio 2’s finest wordsmiths
When Liverpool had Stevie
Heighway, Brian Hall, Ian
Callaghan on golden thrones
And mid week European Cup
Nights were minted and
Merseyside was on song
Never walking alone
But what would Peter Jones
And Bryon Butler have composed
To the lyrics of today
Arteta’s Gunners fire
Their familiar artillery
Against a struggling Newcastle
Perhaps a soulful lament
To the Blaydon Races
Then Gerrard’s newly
Born, Villa on the crest
Of a wave against the
Team with that palatial
Home at Selhurst Park
But no chandeliers present
Now. Crystal Palace stumble
Over leaden feet,
Time to move the silver
Service into another room
Dust off the decanter
Re-arrange the crockery and
Cutlery, Palace must be in
Impeccable condition for
Christmas visitors,
Butlers in finest suit
And so for Norwich
Hitherto the laughing stock
Of the Premier League
Neither here nor there
Goal-less against a fetching
Pack of Wolves who may
Not be the Stan Cullis of old
But Hancocks and Mullen are
Now ghosts from Christmases
Past and days of brilliant gold
So now the Wolves are howling
Before the nocturnal hour
When once Derek the Doog Doogan
John Richards and more recently
Steve Ball held court.
To a different tune.

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For West Ham read the class of 65.

Far too young to appreciate the seed
Of class and ingenuity
When the claret and blue
Class of 1965, held aloft
The Cup Winners Cup at
Wembley but 56 years
Hence, could the apparition
Be more real than imagined
For way back then, Moore,
Hurst, Peters in tandem
with Brian Dear the Stag
Antlers sharp, Johnny
Sissons on flank duty
Who remind you of scissors
That cut inside defenders,
A bludgeon and rapier
On this night of nights
Teasing and tormenting
Full of skulduggery and
Subterfuge, tomfoolery
And jet heeled propulsion
Alan Sealey, Ronnie Boyce
Whose classical overtures
Pearls of wisdom, passes
Like sighs of disbelief
Articulate paragraphs
On the written page
For Wembley 1965
Perhaps read May 2022
Who knows
Fairy tale imaginings
In the East End
Foundries where
The musical docks
Once resounded to
The Chicken Run roar
And probably still do
In our innermost thoughts
And the Upton Park
Acoustics blasted out
Melodies that ring again on
The glorious night
When the Cup Winners Cup
Held pride of place
Bobby victorious
Wembley, Wembley.

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In The Middle Of Europe

So here we are in the middle of
Europa League conferences
Where once the UEFA Cup
Ruled with the rod of iron
When two legs held us in thrall
But tonight it’s Viennese waltzes
For the claret and blue
Thames Ironworks
Strauss without stress
And yet it seems to last for
An eternity with group stages
As long as vinyl record
Albums, drawn out as
Now that winter has
Dawned and the nights
Are blissfully comforting
And David Moyes
Enraptured by London
Stadium symphonies
That caress the discerning
Ears of those bubble blowers
Who may think they’ve seen
And heard it all
But then Sunday will arrive
Like a chariot of old
City and Pep, will the
Hammers tremble with
Fear and trepidation
Or will Sunday be
The day when the mould
Is broken and the Premier
League champions are toppled
From on high and claret and blue
Visions reach for the sky.

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Ketch Up Time Again

It’s ‘off’ again now Conte has banished it at Spurs
and just a few days later the matter’s even worse
where Stevie G at Villa has brought the hammer down
and with it those old ketchup wars are back again in town
they’re warning us to take care of our body and our mind ..
to focus on our heart and soul and always to be kind
to waiting chips or anything you squeeze on while you eat
to ‘ketch’-up with the pioneers who strive to be elite
so love it guys or leave it.. for women and for men
forget your fave’rite condiment it’s ketch-up time again ~

it kicks off in the club canteen and winds up quite a few
it stirs the passion on our plates for club and country too
Capello banned it long ago but Hodgson brought it back
and Moyes said no at Man U until he got the sack
but Van Gaal turned the tide again the bottles poured once more
in this the never ending tale of football’s ketchup war ..
De Canio at Sunderland he had it relegated
but Kevin Ball took over and the treat was reinstated
When Ramos ruled at White Hart Lane it stayed a sauce-less venue
til good ol’ ‘Arry restored pride and ketchup to the menu

At FGR it’s vegan and fans do as they please
yet still the issue lumbers on to squeeze or not to squeeze
The football world is ‘ketching’ up we hope it leads to glory
And likewise egg-less mayonannise … but that’s another story
It’s off… it’s on – the row goes on – we’re flummoxed day by day
we’re playing ketchup with our game this ‘thing’ won’t go away
but in the end the choice is yours as we all feel the heat
to live without or squirt it out …whenever …we should….eat

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How Long Until Diversity ?

how long until diversity
embraces inclusivity
how long until the day begins
when ev’ry coach is welcomed in
to poerate ibn ev’ry league
regardless of their race or creed

no referees in our top league
and lower down just two or three
who makes these rules and who decides
to close the door unless you’re white ?
this thread that runs within our sport
this ‘old school-old boys’ rule we’re taught
by pompous men who take delight
in keeping our game oh so white

they built our game with blinkered eyes
in well kept boardrooms rich and nice
where chairmen met into the night
to keep the game completely white
the crowds that flocked back in the day
who swelled the bank each Saturday
and all the while try as we might
the People’s Game remained so white

the brilliant players we behold
they hide what will at last unfold
the more we dig the more we see
no welcome to diversity
beyond the pitch behind the scene
one wonders do they plot and scheme
and meet and chat into the night
to keep the game completely white?

how long we ask now in our world
before a gifted boy and girl
of any colour race or creed
be given every chance they need?
to manage play and referee
at every level in the league
to rid this policy from sight
and reward those who are not white…

I long to stand and watch with pride
as ancient modes are swept aside
and Black and Asians have the right
to ref and coach by day and night
at ev’ry level that we see
and welcome in diversity

a hundred and fifty years old
the FA Cup we too are told
but in that time not once have we
a black or Asian referee
To those who built with blinkered eyes
your day and time is drawing nigh
no longer will you have the right
to keep our game completely white

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