|

Football is a Grassroots Game

1 Leave a comment on verse 1 0 Football is a Grassroots Game –
We all know what this means don’t we?
It means that football is you know … a grassroots game,
Whatever that may mean;
It’s one of those phrases as understood but as imprecise
As a John Beck long ball team,
You know where the meaning’s going, but will it get there?
But we all know what the phrase means to the powers that be,
To the likes of Adam Crozier, David Dein and players’ agents and their ilk,
It means vertical systems of management-speak
And line management, and Centres of Excellence and fan bases,
Where change is exciting and where threats are opportunities,
Where people are minded to take a view about issues,
And where the anonymous thousands who make this game tick over
Are handed an occasional free ticket as a crumb of comfort,
In a game where ambition and selfishness are rewarded,
Rather than selfless duty and service.
Elsewhere, the phrase has a different meaning,
Sunday league, or coats for goals,
Or kickabouts and childhood innocence
And autograph albums and Hackney Marshes
And dinner-time 3 and in,
And dedicated mums and dads
Giving up so much time to training and reffing and driving
And cleaning boots and washing kit;
Or the grass growing between the pavement cracks in Liverpool
As half a million people celebrate a sense of belonging.
Football is a grassroots game –
And today, on my nephew’s marriage day,
Playing away in what seemed to be the wilds of Wales,
The phrase meant Houseman’s blue remembered hills,
(A.E., not Peter, R.I.P.)
And anemones in the sunken hollow lane,
(Just like Oscar Wilde’s football stars in the gutter)
And three hundred year old hedgerows,
And isolated Marcher farms,
With football goals in the garden
And a satellite dish on the barn,
Cheek by jowl with Offa’s Dyke;
And old men scratching Trevor on their old Ford tractor,
And house martins nesting in the old church roof,
Not so much Gilbert White
But rather more like footballers of yore,
Who returned as if by magic to their old haunts,
As publican or turf accountant;
It meant village 5 a side football competitions,
With all the kids in Hereford kit,
And woodpeckers in the ancient oak,
Just like Arsenal,
Condemned to hit the woodwork for eternity,
And it meant Honesty growing by the side of the football pitch,
Honestly,
Honesty,
Growing in the grassroots.

2 Leave a comment on verse 2 0 Honesty aka Moonpennies and Bread and Cheese;
Lunaria annua

Honesty aka Moonpennies or Bread and Cheese;
Lunaria annua

Source: http://footballpoets.org/poems/football-is-a-grassroots-game/