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Sundays were for soccer on the big, open field;
Real goalposts, a quagmired goalmouth to dive
About in – dirty knees in your jeans to take back
Home. Games went on for ages, or so it seemed.
Big kids, small kids – some were good, you could
Never get the ball. Others did their best, and we
All had fun – friendships made, and broken, then
Made again, all in the name of a simple game.
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Picked first, or last – what would be your fate ?
Sometimes your lot won, but it didn’t really
Matter – too much – if you didn’t. First to reach
Fifteen goals, as darkness closed in and lights
Came on in nearby houses – a call to tea, and bed.
Or maybe it was shots in, fly goalie, penalty kicks,
Anything at all to pass the time on long, hot days
Through August – when the real footy started.
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Then you’d imitate your heroes, re-enact the last
Home match from start to finish – just as enthralling
To youngsters who were obsessed with playing, with
Collecting, with watching, with reading – with it all.
And once hooked, it’s a lifetime thing – boys grow up,
But their fixation never fades; it just develops into a
Deeper, longer-lasting passion. From schooldays to
Retirement, it’s always Football, Football, Football.