|

Abandoned

1 Leave a comment on verse 1 0 ‘Match abandoned’
The falling snow too deep
Despite all their best efforts
And the touchlines that they sweep

2 Leave a comment on verse 2 0 ‘Match abandoned’
Puddles catch the ball
There’s just no controlling it
‘Waterlogged’ the call

3 Leave a comment on verse 3 0 ‘Match abandoned’
The playing surface just too icy
Hazardous conditions
Make continuance too dicey

4 Leave a comment on verse 4 0 ‘Match abandoned’
The fog just never lifted
Make sure the keepers hear
So that everyone is shifted *

5 Leave a comment on verse 5 0 ‘Match abandoned’
An unwanted invasion
Keeper gets involved –
Eviction with persuasion **

6 Leave a comment on verse 6 0 ‘Match abandoned’
Not enough to compete
Via dismissals and injury –
Too much deplete ***

7 Leave a comment on verse 7 0 ‘Match abandoned’
There’s a player to revive ****
Fans and colleagues alike
Hoping they survive

8 Leave a comment on verse 8 0 ‘Match abandoned’
Tragedy at the core
Ellis Park… Bradford… Hillsborough *****
Bodies on the floor

9 Leave a comment on verse 9 0 ‘Match abandoned’
But never the souls left behind…
Their place in our hearts
Will forever be entwined

Inspiration?

The Hillsborough anniversary for one.

But the poem started after I spent the morning reviewing financial accounts, where a recurring sub-ledger ‘abandoned’ kept popping up.

In my normal fashion, it kicked-off a football musing that just expanded.

And even after I thought I had finished the poem, lo and behold on the beeb website that very same day, was a refer back that gave me yet another verse! (***)

*
There was a famous incident, Chelsea vs Charlton Athletic, Christmas Day 1937 at Stamford Bridge, when the match was abandoned due to fog, and Charlton goalkeeper Sam Bartram was left out on the pitch – he hadn’t seen everyone leaving! He was found still between the sticks – by a policeman – 15 minutes later! Sam was quite a character – he even got married on a matchday – leaving his own wedding to go play vs Middlesborough!

**
21st December 2011, furious AZ Alkmaar couch Gert Jan Verbeek ordered his team to leave the pitch, after his goalkeeper, Esteban Alvarado was sent off. The keeper was trying to defend himself against a fan who ran onto the pitch.

***
In 2002, Sheffield Utd v WBA was abandoned when Utd were reduced to 6 men due to injury and dismissals in an ill-tempered match.

****
Written with Fabrice Muamba, Marc Vivien Foe, Matt Gadsby, Phil O’Donnell, Antonio Puerta and Piermario Morosini, in mind.

*****
various stadium tragedies over the years…

Bradford Valley Parade Fire, Saturday 11th May 1985, 56 people died and more than 265 injured.

Hillsborough, Saturday 15th April 1989, 96 people died, many injured.

Ellis Park, Johannesburg, 11th April 2001, 43 people died, many injured.

The Heysel match in 1985 wasn’t actually abandoned. The game was played in order to ‘prevent further violence’.

The 1902 Ibrox match wasn’t actually abandoned, but the result declared void and later replayed.

At the 1971 Ibrox match, and the 2012 match in Port Said, Egypt, the deaths occurred at or after the final whistle.

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