Oi Ref…Swap Goalie?

1 Leave a comment on verse 1 0 “Oi Ginger! Go in goal?
Jimmy, you’re no good so ‘n so
You’re as useful as a fork for sipping soup”,

“Ginger, I know you wanna play full- back
But six-two down, us getting thrashed
You in goal, there’s a chance we might improve”.

2 Leave a comment on verse 2 0 Sporting a raging bleating hump
I gave leather spherical a thump
Spat on me gloves, crossed myself in prayer
Dancing back to guard the battered goal
Cursing Jimmy, the so ‘n so
Firing daggers at him via a flaming glare.

3 Leave a comment on verse 3 0 Punching a corner unopposed
I’m dancing on tip toes
Twelve years old the saviour of the side
Wallowing in wondrous self esteem
I’m every London-Irish captain’s dream…
That young fella, Enda called to stem the tide.

4 Leave a comment on verse 4 0 In the eighteen yard box on me Tod
Rising rueful from the dewy sod
Smell of dubbined leather neath me chin
A gorgeous face beside the goal
Smiles, applauds, and stops mid-stroll,
“Hello Ginger bhoy, I’m Enda’s cousin, Erin”.

5 Leave a comment on verse 5 0 Making saves, struggling to talk
Fazed by simmering brown eyes, here, from Cork
A welcome distraction to keep the deficit at six
Braggadocio insists I scream, n shout
Inspiration of a sculptured marble pout
Leaning on my post, a blade a grass between moist lips.

6 Leave a comment on verse 6 0 The final whistle blows…six-four
Enda roars, “Three Cheers”, (Can’t recall who for?)
I’ve other stuff in mind than to shake a muddy hand
Striding across a sodden field of green
All of a sudden, my recently discovered dream
Sped off in the front of a Transit van, with Enda’s mam.

7 Leave a comment on verse 7 0 Christening Hooley, a table full of mates
Enda mentioned, Erin emigrated to The States
Wed a good for nothing lazy get, gave up the ghost
I prefer to recall the day, fate deemed I go in goal
Simmering brown eyes caressed my soul
Blade a grass twixt moist lips, pouting ‘gainst a post.



In the days of my being a full-back, goal-keeper. Long before substitutions, a youth-club/school team captain of a side on the end of getting a bleating good hiding might call out…Oi Ref…Swap Goalie? In order to save an under-fire keeper, further angst and his team-mates total annihilation in one fell swoop. However, persuading some other eejit to go in goal, having witnessed what the previous custodian had been bombarded with, wasn’t easy, because as we all know, whatever happens, is always the goalie’s fault. This poem is inspired by the quite brilliant young French keeper, Illan Mesler, plays for Leeds United. Whom, after two howlers in a game recently, appearing to be on the verge of tears, got up, dusted himself off, before going on to make a string of at times astonishing saves in the same game. So fair play to that man.
Tod Sloane. (American jockey) Rhyming slang for own. Hooley. Teetotal Irish tea-party


Stay safe, come what may, raise both hands, grasp the day.

Source: http://footballpoets.org/poems/oi-ref-swap-goalie/