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1966 and All That

1 Leave a comment on verse 1 0 It’s not easy being an assistant referee,
scurrying up and down, up and down the touch line,
when there are so many shenanigans to see.

2 Leave a comment on verse 2 0 Was an attacker standing offside is the key
judgement you must make, but the margins are so fine.
It’s not easy being an assistant referee,

3 Leave a comment on verse 3 0 you need to be eagle-eyed, as fit as a flea,
able to draw parallels without log or cosine,
while there are so many shenanigans to see.

4 Leave a comment on verse 4 0 When the left winger went down like a chainsawn tree
was the right back’s elbow an accident or malign?
It’s not easy being an assistant referee,

5 Leave a comment on verse 5 0 signalling a throw while the home crowd disagree
loudly behind you, call you every kind of swine.
When there are so many shenanigans to see

6 Leave a comment on verse 6 0 you don’t want to be like that Azerbaijani,
famous just for flagging the ball had crossed the line.
It’s not easy being an assistant referee,
when there are so many shenanigans to see.

8

Notes

In a dull phase of Torquay United’s last home match I got interested in the unsung role of the assistant referees, or linesman as they used to be known. This led me to Tofiq Bahramov, the Russian linesman famous for saying Geoff Hurst’s shot had bounced down off the crossbar behind the line for a goal, or the infamous ‘Wembley-Tor’ as the Germans know it. Then Azerbaijan was a part of the Soviet Union but now, ideally for the rhyme pattern of my villanelle, it is an independent country.

Source: http://footballpoets.org/poems/1966-and-all-that-2/