Brendan Bradley

1 Leave a comment on verse 1 0 I passed a poor man yesterday,
In tears down by the river,
His face was pale, his hair was grey,
He gave a little shiver.
I saw a tear form in his eye
And trickle downwards sadly.
“Oh, woe is me!” I heard him cry,
“Oh, where is Brendan Bradley?”

2 Leave a comment on verse 2 0 I paused beside this human wreck
And sat myself down near him.
I picked my nose and scratched my neck,
And thought how best to cheer him.
Alas! I could not find the words,
Although I searched quite madly.
I threw some stale bread to the birds,
And asked, “Who’s Brendan Bradley?”

3 Leave a comment on verse 3 0 His tearful sobbing promptly ceased,
He turned to me in wonder.
And as his disbelief increased,
I knew I’d made a blunder.
He said, ”I know I’m not too clever,
My brain has suffered badly,
But you’re telling me that you have never
Heard of Brendan Bradley?”

4 Leave a comment on verse 4 0 I pursed my lips and shook my head.
“Oh sir, please tell me gladly,
Who is this wondrous man?” I said,
“This fabled Brendan Bradley?”
He gazed at me with hair unkempt,
As though I were a chancer,
And then, with scarce-disguised contempt,
He issued forth an answer.

5 Leave a comment on verse 5 0 “You don’t deserve to speak his name,
He was a Finn Harps deity,
The supreme craftsman of the game,
And worshipped by the laity.
He’d head as hard as he could kick,
His feet were near size twenty,
He’d mastered every football trick,
And there were goals a-plenty.

6 Leave a comment on verse 6 0 ‘For nigh on twenty years he played,
The bane of most defences,
Perfection in his chosen trade,
Astounding people’s senses.
We won the Cup in seventy four
Against St. Pats Athletic.
Twice that day did Brendan score,
With grace and style balletic.

7 Leave a comment on verse 7 0 ‘And now he’s gone and Harps are left
Trapped in the First Division.
Our forward line is quite bereft
Of cunning and incision.
McHugh can’t win games on his own,
(Not wishing to deride him)
But no, he can’t do that alone,
He needs Big Bren beside him.”

8 Leave a comment on verse 8 0 “But gone is gone and past is past,”
I answered him quite gravely.
“A pot of honey will not last,
The future beckons bravely.
So put away that handkerchief,
It doesn’t suit you really.
Just think, with gladness and relief,
You could have Dykes and Keely.”

9 Leave a comment on verse 9 0 He took his well-worn craggy face
From off my soaking shoulder.
The tears had gone and in their place,
A spirit, wiser, bolder.
“Oh, thank you for those words of hope,
Farewell to melancholy.
I feel I’m strong enough to cope
And recognise my folly.”

10 Leave a comment on verse 10 0 And as we sat there by the river,
I heard footsteps behind me.
I felt a chill attack my liver,
A ray of light behind me.
And as I turned, I saw two slow
But large feet plodding sadly.
Receding hairline too, but no,
It wasn’t Brendan Bradley.



Kevin McHugh is well on his way to emulating the great man’s feats at Finn Harps. (Gavin) Dykes and (Dermot) Keely are the current management team at local rivals, Derry City, and both former Harps managers. Dykes in particular is not well-loved at Finn Park!

Source: http://footballpoets.org/poems/brendan-bradley/