An Upper Room in Westbourne Grove

1 Leave a comment on verse 1 0 In Westbourne Grove with Don and Stan
playing games we had no poker face for,
opening tears in space and time
for Clement and Gillard to make their runs from
when The Great West Road led to total football.

2 Leave a comment on verse 2 0 A twin-prop from Copenhagen to Disko Bay
took Stan to a five-a-side in Greenland.
‘There are no characters in the game anymore.’
‘If you passed the bookies like you pass the ball…’

3 Leave a comment on verse 3 0 From the City Ground to the far away towns,
not taking anything from Clough,
he shouted the odds with Peter Taylor,
walked from the Nou Camp European Cup
for Brisbane Road and Griffin Park.

4 Leave a comment on verse 4 0 ‘There are no characters in the game anymore’
said Stan, but if you’re looking for one
in Lisbon this year watch the bench next to Carlo
where West London’s finest memory lives on.


This is a poem about a rival team (sorry Fulham fans) who had a superb side in the ’70’s.

My father-in-law regularly used to play cards with Stan Bowles in the Shepherd’s Bush area in an era so far removed from the present.

When Stan Bowles was at Forest, he reputedly wouldn’t take orders from Brian Clough, but got on well with Peter Taylor; he had his heart set on a return to the capital and his friends, including Mick Jones.

Since retiring, Stan has not renounced his more eccentric character traits, as alluded to in the second stanza above; a trip to Greenland to launch a new brand of Vodka by means of engaging locals in five-a-side football? Stan’s your man. The ‘bookies’ quote in the second stanza is from Ernie Tagg, Stan’s manager (and one he greatly respected) at Crewe Alexandra.

Dave Clement very sadly died at a young age. It’s fantastic to see his son working at such a high level in Madrid and what a fitting tribute it would be if Real and Rangers win their respective finals this season.

Editor’s Note:

One of my favourite footballing quotes!

And apologies, I can’t resist – as another rival in the West London area, we’ll lay claim to Neil Clement – he’s one of José’s protogées from his first encumbancy at the Bridge!

I also fondly remember watching his father play.


Source: http://footballpoets.org/poems/an-upper-room-in-westbourne-grove/