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Magyar Memories

1 Leave a comment on verse 1 0 When melancholy autumn comes to Wembley
And hot-dog stands are lighted after tea
The poplars by the Stadium are all trembly
Then my mind goes back to nineteen fifty-three,
When Puskas and his cherry-shirted heroes
Made dummies of the founders of the game
Too young, I learned about the match from photos
But it lodged within my memory just the same.
Proud Ferenc Puskas swapping pre-match pennants
A goalkeeper named Grosics all in black
Nandor Hidegkuti spreading menace
As the Magyars clove the mist with their attack.
But why are these the things that I remember
As the cares of sixty years exact their toll
The leaping frame of willowy Sandor Kocsis
And Puskas with his Wright-tormenting goal?
The consolation penalty from Ramsey
Moustachioed Gil Merrick clutching air
The goalmouth scene of wild Hungarian dancing
As schoolboys watch in awe and old men stare.
Their team-sheet I can still recite like mantras
Supplanting useful stuff like “usercodes”
So I gabble Grosics Budai Lorant Lantos
Till the people eye me oddly on the roads.
Too young, I learned about all this from photos
Of that misty day in nineteen fifty-three
But Wembley Way and I recall the heroes
When Hungary scored six, and we scored three.

(Inspired, of course, by good old John Betjeman)

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Source: http://footballpoets.org/poems/magyar-memories/