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We were home internationals, one team boys to a man
brillcreamed, baggy panted, all Kevins, Billys and Stans.
Promotion, a championship and FA Cup winners,
On retiring, only three cheers, stilted board room dinners
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No payout sum, director role or testimonial match,
banished from the Stadium to start a life from scratch
Perhaps plumber, painter, or salesman door to door
or accepting the taunts on return to the factory floor
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Each year that passed slowly rendered our time
to the more remote corners of the supporter’s mind.
Trotted out for the odd “where are they now”
or to take a Cup twentieth anniversary bow
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We felt the dwindling impact of a non-indexed pension,
often treated with a kind of well-meaning condescension
Our legs and backs aged in advance of their years,
pain deadened by too many whiskeys, too many beers
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We struggled to adjust, to find our way
we grappled with mouths to feed, mortgages to pay.
We shrank each year and counted missing mates
succumbing to the struggle of our post-football fates
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That’s why I’m here to sell these mementos and medals
the price is disappointing but we have agreed to settle.
Liquidated to meet medical expenses and assisted mobility
But I’m keeping my memories of when we were football nobility