Packie Bonner’s Blunder – Orlando 1994

1 Leave a comment on verse 1 0 We gazed dumbfounded at the screen,
And with uncomprehending eyes,
Sought desperately to realise
The impact of the goal just seen.

2 Leave a comment on verse 2 0 We sought the answer in our stout,
We looked for solace from our pain,
As if bould Arthur could explain
That score from thirty five yards out.

3 Leave a comment on verse 3 0 The Dutch were quite a useful side.
No shame to lose to such as them,
For we admired the orange crème,
And thought they would not be denied.

4 Leave a comment on verse 4 0 But ‘twas the manner of the goal,
The second one that sealed our fate,
That we could not articulate,
For it defied our very soul.

5 Leave a comment on verse 5 0 Packie Bonner, ten feet tall,
The rock behind the green defence,
Reliable and so immense,
Did get his chest behind the ball.

6 Leave a comment on verse 6 0 And everybody glanced away
Before the save was made complete,
For Wim Jonk’s drive would never beat
The greatest goalie of the day.

7 Leave a comment on verse 7 0 But then, alive, the football eased
Out of his rock-steady hands.
Euphoria in the Netherlands,
As just inside the post it squeezed.

8 Leave a comment on verse 8 0 No word of blame was cried aloud,
No plaintive cursing rent the air.
There was no anger anywhere,
As Packie squatted down, head bowed.

9 Leave a comment on verse 9 0 No matter that our dream was dead,
No matter that our hopes were slashed,
No matter that the Cup was dashed,
And we were coming home instead.

10 Leave a comment on verse 10 0 It mattered more that Packie Bonner,
In stadia both near and far,
Between the posts, beneath the bar,
Had served his country with great honour.

11 Leave a comment on verse 11 0 And now, as with a crack of thunder,
His confidence severely battered,
His reputation had been shattered
By one most unbecoming blunder.

12 Leave a comment on verse 12 0 And all of Ireland, as one, felt
For Packie in that dreadful second,
As international twilight beckoned,
And cursed the hand that fate had dealt.



It was always a source of great pride that none one Irish journalist dipped his pen in acid when analysing that goal.
Contrast that with the vitriol dished out to Seaman in Japan, after a much less obvious error.

Source: http://footballpoets.org/poems/packie-bonners-blunder-orlando-1994/