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Above grey roof tops, between houses and
Behind factories; just a glimpse is enough
To set pulses racing. A floodlight pylon,
The back of a stand, or from a distance
As you travel past – eager for the least thing
To excite your interest in grounds, old and new.
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It may be at home, or it may be abroad
In some sun-drenched town – that instant buzz
From the sight of a goalnet, the white pitch
Markings – identical the world over. It may be
Some non-league backwater, or some plastic
Premiership club – passed by train or by car.
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Empty, unloved – echoing stands around
A windswept pitch. Littered with memories
Of games and players from bygone times;
But alive on a Saturday at three o’clock,
Assuming almost a life of its’ own – the
Old terraces, the old chants, a distant charm.
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It’s a high price to pay – for one numbered seat,
Compared to those years in the schoolboy’s pen.
Season tickets all round; a sanitised version of
The bad old days – but still, the roars can rise,
And swell – then fall as quickly; still twenty two men
Chasing a ball across a rectangle of green.
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The grounds have gained a mystique all of
Their own; Highbury’s marble halls, a listed building
Soon to be flats. Reality and history woven
Together. Cradles of joy, scenes of disaster –
A link with the past that bonds us as one;
Our home every fortnight, our special place.