History Repeats Itself

1 Leave a comment on verse 1 0 A young boy
By the whole experience.
The thrill of just being there –
Especially with Dad –

2 Leave a comment on verse 2 0 All the stars that he’d read and dreamed about
Right there, in front of his eyes
Doing what they do best –
And also, unwittingly, sowing the seeds
Of the hardiest cash crop known to man.

3 Leave a comment on verse 3 0 1969.
Stamford Bridge, West Stand.
Chelsea v Derby County.
Final score : two all.

4 Leave a comment on verse 4 0 2004.
Stamford Bridge, West Stand.
Chelsea v Bolton Wanderers.
And this time, I’m the proud father
My two sons, at their first match
Lapping it up, taking it all in.
The Chatterbox, dumbstruck
Not yet au-fait with the rules,
Non-plussed at the pace of it all,
Struggles to comprehend.
The Thinker, keeps up with play,
Bombarding his internal computer,
Analyses the substitutions,
Tries to second guess Mourinho :
Ferguson and Wenger would be impressed.
Dad certainly is.
How could Duff, fellow Irishman, scorer of
The first goal, 37 seconds into the game,
The one that will imprint on two young memories,
Be the one to make way?
And already they’re straight into the highs and lows of football.
History repeating itself.

5 Leave a comment on verse 5 0 New words, forbidden words,
And all, strangely, uncensored –
History repeating itself.

6 Leave a comment on verse 6 0 Half time treats
And treasured mementos after the match –
History repeating itself.

7 Leave a comment on verse 7 0 Free kicks, passes, through balls, crosses and goals
Blocks, tackles, challenges : the likes you’ve never seen –
History repeating itself.

8 Leave a comment on verse 8 0 A buzz
And an excitement, that tingles through the tangles –
History repeating itself.

9 Leave a comment on verse 9 0 And you know the disease has struck, when,
Soon after the opposition’s late equaliser
A small lone voice, among the strangely muted,
Battle weary, fate resigned veterans,
Pipes up :
“If everybody cheered, they might score –
History repeats itself.

10 Leave a comment on verse 10 0 Chelsea 2 : Opposition in white 2
Unfortunately, 35 years on, history repeated itself.


‘Unfortunately’ : Dad & friend’s view : match result wise
‘Unfortunately’ : Long suffering Mammy’s view : result wise – two more lost souls!

Dedicated to Eamonn, Gavin, and friend Neil, all present; to Dad – for my ‘virgin’ experience; to Mark and Róisín (who both missed out, their time will come!); and to Maeve and Mum (the football widows)

For the record :

Sat 11 Oct 1969

Chelsea 2 Derby County 2
Hollins, Houseman

Attendance : 51,421

Sat 20th November 2004

Chelsea 2 Bolton Wanderers 2
Duff, Tiago Davies, Jaidi

Attendance : 42,203

And my thanks to Robbie Keane, a true gent,
for getting the whole trip off to a great start,
by signing his autograph at Heathrow Airport for my two starstruck boys.

Source: http://footballpoets.org/poems/history-repeats-itself/