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Twenty four years old and what a cruel twist of fate
For this unassuming, truly gifted man.
Bitter football rivalries today evaporate
As the news impacts on every decent fan.
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The ball tied to his foot with an imagined piece of string,
Frightening full backs with his close control.
With great acceleration, he could push it down the wing,
Or cut inside and head towards the goal.
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His trickery was dazzling and his finishing was clinical,
With skill so unencumbered and direct,
And though opposition hardmen oft resorted to the cynical,
It was a cogent sign of their respect.
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Six days before the Final, twenty four short years of age,
His world usurped by medical condition.
His talents, so deserving of the showpiece Lansdowne stage
Will never be unveiled in competition.
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Who knows what fine performances will never now be seen,
As dreadful luck has robbed him of his prime?
We only can surmise at just how good he could have been
If the murmurs had not swooped before their time.
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And so we thank you, Babaz, for the football that you played,
For the beauty of the love ‘twixt boot and ball,
For the sheer exhilaration and the difference that you made,
Not just to Inchicore, but to us all.