Leave a comment on verse 1 1
In the beginning we kicked stones
against brick walls.
Drawing the man, we slide tackled
on broken glass.
Our stadium was a damp, cobbled alley
lit by street lamps.
Burnden Park rattled and roared with
every skilled pass.
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I proudly wore the number 31 as
a badge of honour.
We were part of the awkward squad,
the school’s best team.
The photo shows a gang of youths unsure
where the spotlight shines,
But not Mick and me: looking into the distance
we dared to dream.
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Mick came on as a sub against Man City,
roomed with Big Sam:
And by then I had failed my trial and
cried from the heart.
But true passions never die, they are
Now my life’s defeats and victories are
there in my art.
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Much is contrived and Pythonesque in
this beautiful game,
And in all of life’s small rewards
for which we fight:
Yet the striving, the desire, can survive
those empty stadiums
With replays proving the ref wrong
even when he is right.
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Now my son’s red studs are flying as
he marks each man,
Equitably learning to deal with
the hand of God.
He cannot predict the final score but
this much he knows:
Play hard, play fair, and you’ll always find
a place in the squad.
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Ambitions, disregarded like lost clothing
on a muddy pitch,
And certainties fade; and the goalposts
will constantly move;
And you, Ari, a new prospect, will be clocked
by armchair punters
Who will see what you are, what you do,
and then disapprove.
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Each day young dreamers have their hopes
And brick walls and broken glass
still block their way.
But in life, kid, there are no hurdles,
Find space, create, adapt, give your all; and
live better each day.