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I watch as they rush smugly by, faces taut,
their dark glasses pitching into night.
Askew off-field timing of …legends? …heroes?
Their ironic, condescending waves
gesturing to the world they’ve left
breezy goodbyes of relief and contempt.
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I recall 1960: Cheshunt, Spurs training ground,
an ashen, autumnal site as England slogged;
Winterbottom’s orchestration for Spain next day.
Allowed entry, ragged boys gathered in full cry,
abruptly swamping young Bobby Robson.
He said, “I won’t sign until you form a line.”