Tuesday, April 18th, 2017
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The first to strike gold in Europe
Was that famous Black Pearl
Fondly known as Benbarek
To others the Moroccan Earl
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El Ouatane aged fourteen
Honed the Black Pearl’s stealth
Two Spanish titles for El Prodigio
Order of Merit after his death
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Forty three goals for Stade Français
As Larbi walked the walk
Fifty six as Spain’s Perla Negra
La perle noir du Maroc
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From twenty Francs a day
An Iberian prince at Marseille
The first ever “black pearl”
Very high praise from Pele
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Eight goals against Southend
A first French cap against Italy
War loomed and Larbi went home
With the arrival of the Nazi
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French journalists raged in despair
When Atletico signed a cheque
One wrote; ‘Sell the Eiffel Tower,
But not Ben Barek’
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Idéal Club Casablanca and US Marocaine
Stade Français adding spice
Atlético Madrid Los Rojiblancos
Where Larbi won La Liga twice
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Nineteen caps for Les Bleus no myth
Danced on dictator Franco’s deck
Bel-Abbès and a stadium named
For Haj Abdelkader Larbi Ben M’barek
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© emdad rahman
One of africa’s greatest imports – It seems Haj Abdelkader Larbi Ben M’barek has been airbrushed from football history.
What a player and what history!
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Welcome to Football Poets -- a club for all football poets, lovers of football and lovers of (alternative) poetry. Discover poets in every league from respected internationals at the top of their game to young hopefuls in the school playground.
Publish your football poems here and then discuss them with your team mates and fans. We're archived by The British Library, so your masterpieces are in the safe hands of a world-class keeper. What a result!
16th March 2018 at 3:06 pm
It’s a superb tribute to one of the finest footballers to grace the game, and a lovely gentleman too.
See in context
16th March 2018 at 10:44 am
Beautiful as always Sharon.
When it was at Preston I just stood there in awe.
16th March 2018 at 10:41 am
So true – just like it was in 2000 when this site began Dennis.
is it any wonder then so many of use desert our beloved clubs… with our feet …..to watch the beauty and people’s game of lower and non-league
That’s where and why you’ll find me today , when i can..
getting there early for the vibe..e..standing on terraces .in an out of the way place .
chatting to away fans beforehand and after and clutching raffle tickets at half time …hopeful even for a five pound third prize
16th March 2018 at 10:31 am
Just brilliant John.
Felt like i was that kid and that grandad sat by a fire…
in front of an old dogy tele and astruggling VHS
…..living it all.
9th March 2018 at 4:16 pm
In August 2016 it was reported that the former professional footballer Howard Gayle, the first black player to appear for Liverpool, and involved in the ‘Show Racism The Red Card’ campaign, had turned down an MBE as it would be ‘a betrayal to the Africans who suffered at the hands of the British Empire.
28th February 2018 at 11:02 pm
A very fine and considered poem on the great malaise of the modern game. Or one of them, at least!
23rd February 2018 at 10:30 am
Footie with Dad….what a great idea…nice one Phil thanks for making us aware of this…I wil ensure it appears as a link with your poem on our Football Poets on Facebook page and Football Gone Rogue too!
8th February 2018 at 11:23 am
Really moving account of a day a night Graham
and also how we were as kids..
they way we came to terms with things …
6th February 2018 at 1:47 pm
“beyond the gated community of stones”. Beautiful.
6th February 2018 at 1:41 pm
Brilliant imagery. A great poem.