Every Team Had One

1 Leave a comment on verse 1 0 The hardman, the enforcer, the minder – bred tough
In the old days. From Barson and Copping, pre-war
Vintage to Hunter, Smith, Harris, Storey and others;
They made their presence painfully felt by the opposition –
You stayed kicked when they came a-calling, those
Square-jawed, nail-crunching individuals who ‘graced’
The scene all those years ago. They’d get sent off every
Match today, despite that fact that most of their work was
Done furtively, off the ball – no crude forearm smash a la
Thatcher for them. Far more discreet, far more lethal, far
More menacing, far more effective if they weren’t dismissed;
It meant another victim, or two, the following game…so long
Live the memory of Chopper, Bite Your Legs and their ilk,
Alliterative nicknames for the deadly assassins of yore –
Who patrolled the fields with stealth-like vengance in mind,
Witness Big Jack’s ‘black book’. Though even our Brits
Of that era were honest cloggers against the masterful
Continentals; spitters and abusers par excellence when
Referees turned a blind eye, or just wagged a finger…


Source: http://footballpoets.org/poems/every-team-had-one/