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One Hundred Thousand Souls

1 Leave a comment on verse 1 0 Born 1923, died 2000 – world famous symbol of
Our national game through generations. Officially,
The Empire Stadium, it became a venue of legends.
The twin towers, the royal box – the 39 steps up to it.
Sandwiched into London suburbia – that long walk
From tube to turnstile – down Wembley Way past
Cockney opportunists selling their souvenir wares,
Then up close to the Old Lady, showing her age.

2 Leave a comment on verse 2 0 But what a story to tell – the White Horse Final,
Those Scottish wizards of ’28; Graf Zeppelin above,
Pompey vanquish Wolves – the classic ’48 match-up.
Matthews and Puskas in ’53, Trautman’s neck in ’56.
The injury jinx continued, the lush turf was blamed.
But Haffey could only blame himself as nine went
Past him the year I was born. Then, they enclosed
The whole bowl in ’63 – dawn of the modern era.

3 Leave a comment on verse 3 0 That epoch-making day in ’66; the sun shone on
England and the World Cup glistened gold in
Bobby Moore’s hands. But the Scots came down
In ’67 – Baxter and Bremner running the show…
Charlie George on his back, Stokoe sprinting to
Monty – then the Polish ‘Clown’ keeps everything
Out to make Sir Alf history. Memories etched on
Our collective conscience, a place belonging to all.

4 Leave a comment on verse 4 0 It wasn’t just footy, either. Those northern League
Boys made an annual pilgrimage – to fill the old
Stadium every time; also the Wembley Lions raced
Speedway style before thousands, not forgetting
The Dogs for many years. But it was the glory game
That kept it all going, till the edges frayed and the
Paint cracked – it ended with a whimper, as the
Germans gained revenge. The Empire crumbled to dust.

5 Leave a comment on verse 5 0 And now, we (nearly) have a new Wembley – a big
Arch, lots of corperate gloss – once the screws are
Tightened up. New heroes, new memories, who knows.
Perhaps it will be the very best, and maybe your team
Will get there – or maybe not. So, let’s hope it’s worth
The wait, and the money – a citadel to house McClaren’s
Finest, and to echo the strains of ‘Abide With Me’.
For the nation, for the fans – a home, open to all ?

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Source: http://footballpoets.org/poems/one-hundred-thousand-souls/