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Metropolitan League Legends

1 Leave a comment on verse 1 0 A hard rain teems on Tonbridge.
Its Angel Ground is packed
to watch West Ham:
our reserves, their thirds;
the leisure revolution yet to strike the land.

2 Leave a comment on verse 2 0 The Angels’ wings hang heavy; we’re hammered
by East End teachers of the finer points.
Our fearless keeper keeps them out
till their flame-haired wunderkind
takes him out: clatters him, shatters him,
splatters him onto a stretcher,
to a hospital cot of pain, hobbling rehab.

3 Leave a comment on verse 3 0 The surgeons’ scalpels do their work,
physios fix his deformed physique;
hard work, courage, lead him back
between the posts, harsh ghosts
of flailing forwards sow dark doubts,
seeds of fear that leech the skills.

4 Leave a comment on verse 4 0 He’s not the same. And yet
he makes the first team spot his own.
In truth, the money’s gone and no-one else
will bear that cross. And with his help
we make the bottom spot our own.

5 Leave a comment on verse 5 0 No game is won. Attacks are borne,
points surrendered, defeat endured
until, like Camus’ plague,
poor play moves on.

6 Leave a comment on verse 6 0 Our club revives, team thrives,
fickle fans flock back,
the hard core blooms.
Brave Mike is left behind.

4

Notes

Researching the facts behind this poem led to a happy discovery: “Brave Mike” (Gevaux) eventually made a full recovery and went on to play for better teams than ours.

Source: http://footballpoets.org/poems/metropolitan-league-legends/