Flags Are Flapping At Half-Mast.

1 Leave a comment on verse 1 0 Christmas, has just flown past
Flags are flapping at half-mast
An air o’ melancholy floats upon the breeze
Sauntering past a cinders football pitch
I relive every battle, fought upon it
When we feared no-one, me and my Uncle Steve.

2 Leave a comment on verse 2 0 Black eye’s, scraped knees, split lips
Dead legs, slaps, sly digs in the ribs,
“Huh! You shoulda seen the other fella’s boat”,
I’m often reminded of a game
When a timid young fella, Dominic by name
Did his Dave McKay at Billy Bremners throat.

3 Leave a comment on verse 3 0 An epic fight-back, a huge defeat
Right-handers to a flying cherub’s cheek
A perfectly mistimed tackle, settling an old score
The tear-filled tear-up, agin a burly seminarian from Cork
Sharing blows, a fag, after the ref suggested we both walk
One halcyon morning, I’m painfully reminded of once more.

4 Leave a comment on verse 4 0 Padraig’s auld one, bless her heart
One mid-week afternoon in Battersea Park,
“Oi ref, yon young fellas murdering the child”,
Leaving the twins, on the touch-line in their pram
Stormed on to the pitch, to query officialdom as a mam
In a manner, one of the other mams, described as…mild?!

5 Leave a comment on verse 5 0 The half-time vitamin c, cups o’ tepid tea
Our schools name defended ruthlessly
The nuns rustling us up a set o’ threadbare kit
Returning to the austere convent aft a win
Feeling like…I’ve rarely, if ever felt agin
A ginger God in a goalie top, a huge hole in it

6 Leave a comment on verse 6 0 That buzz on the train, or the bus back home
Reliving every precious moment, on one’s own,
In glorious colour, on the hallowed field o’ play
Yes, Christmas, has just flown past
Flags are flapping at half-mast
Reminding kids like me to be thankful for Pele.

7 Leave a comment on verse 7 0 Peace.



Back in the day. The London County Council, couldn’t or wouldn’t pay for school teams to play on grass football pitches. Instead, they let us play on dangerous, low maintenance, pink cinders pitches, with-out showers, or changing rooms. The day our convent school, St Vincent De Paul, played Westminster Cathedral Choir School, (a fee paying boarding school) in a friendly, was probably the first time, many of us played in a match on a grass pitch, with showers and changing rooms, where our precious street-clothes weren’t in fear of being half-inched (pinched), while we played! After the drawn game in South West London’s Battersea Park, a priest from the choir-school bought a huge hamper into the dressing room for the two teams to share. Some of us kids, had never seen so much food in all our young lives, T’was as if Christmas Day came early that year. There is a poem about that absolutely blinding day on this site, I believe? Cheers for reading. Happy New Year. Peace. L8ers…Kev.

Source: http://footballpoets.org/poems/flags-are-flapping-at-half-mast/