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!
19th September 2019 at 4:41 pm
with our new website format, we can now all offer suggestions on top of this.
AE Housman or Peter Houseman?
Spike Milligan or Mike Milligan?
See in context
30th August 2019 at 2:19 pm
I really, really wish I’d thought of that closing line!
2nd August 2019 at 12:01 pm
Wow. That is a fantastic tale John.Thank you. Funny and sad but hysterical. You totally captured the vibe back then.I was too small to see in those huge crowds at the Bridge when i first went to Chelsea on Dec 25 ’57 (Chelsea 7-4 Portsmouth (when Greaves scored 4) but remember …ev’ry week so well …the old Peanut sellers chucking their peanuts to the crowd .And then us chucking our sixpences back .(Tanner a bag) And then stamping on them or chucking back the shells at our mates and the cops too. God Bless Mrs Michella the Crystal Palace peanut seller….and all long gone peasnut sellers.
28th June 2019 at 3:23 pm
We have one of these shirts Clik and it is beautiful.
Great poem for a boss shirt.
20th June 2019 at 2:37 pm
Lovely poem Rhys, and That Lone Ship looks a boss book.
9th May 2019 at 12:59 pm
Great poem Clik – witty and memorable, worthy of a quite remarkable occasion.
9th May 2019 at 12:58 pm
Great poem Sharon, worthy of a quite remarkable occasion.
9th May 2019 at 12:54 pm
I really like this poem. So many great phrases: “striped and manicured”, “a crowd of heads go drooping”, “and maintain home advantage”, “when Mum blew for dinner”. Much appreciated! Thank you.
7th May 2019 at 10:37 am
Such great words Ray. So evocative of that time of innocence Kepp on mate. More please. It will be under the Nostaglia section too.
26th March 2019 at 10:16 am
As a child I drew crowds; row upon row,
fifteen thousand little circles for the fans,
such a great line…bewcause we all did…and golaposts nets and floodlights too…