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!
2nd September 2017 at 3:00 pm
Hi Crispin, Thanks so much for this encouragement (sorry, I’ve only just seen this message.) Really appreciate it. Chuffed for you that FGR went up…I live in Wokingham, near Reading. It would be great to catch up with you again.
See in context
10th August 2017 at 8:36 pm
Just beautiful imagery Alex…love your stuff….keep on..can’t remember where you live (probably not near ‘Arry in Poole lol) but we’ll have to get you up to Forest Green one day…
Would be great to meet up… if FGR play any where near you too.let me know..I’ll be getting to the odd away game now.
3rd August 2017 at 4:27 pm
Great poem…keep on …I know the feeling!
1st August 2017 at 5:47 pm
And more nonsense please!
I’ve always been a big fan of Eddie’s!
21st July 2017 at 12:57 pm
19th May 2017 at 6:02 pm
Great poem on a wonderful achievement for FGR.
Now let’s hope my team and Forest Green battle it out for top spot next season. If the Sky Blues top the division the vegan pies are on me ! ☺
19th May 2017 at 5:48 pm
Wonderful, touching poem. You have done them proud expressing your feelings about their achievement.
5th May 2017 at 1:19 pm
Good luck! Hope to see you on Sunday if I can make it.
3rd May 2017 at 5:40 pm
Great use of wordplay on names Ianthe. Especially liked Lingard…as in a classic Cranberries song’Let It Lingar!’
9th April 2017 at 9:21 pm
Hi Graham – I’m really pleased to see that you’re annotating your poems verse-by-verse. Did you know you can also highlight a bit of text in a verse and comment on that? Hover over this comment to see what I highlighted.