back on my own in the South Stand once more
but where are my mates and the crowd like before?
I’d love to stay but there’s no-one to ask
up on the hill in my hat and my mask
feel like a robber whose stuck in a dream
a bandit a cowboy up there on the screen
science or fiction it’s tricky to say
whatever happened to our Saturdays?
missing the moaning the drumming the lads
keep thinkin’ back to the times that we had
and nobody knows when we’ll stand here once more
now Rovers are playing behind closed doors
took it for granted this game we adore
feel like a rock star whose cancelled his tour
feel like I’ve sneaked in and shouldn’t be here
place is deserted there’s nothing to cheer
you say it’s easing and it’s gonna end
but you also told me that we could defend !
socially distanced the lockdowns and zoom
what will we do when the matches resume ?
yes we’ll be grateful that we are alive
but how will the smaller clubs ever survive
will it be down to a vaccine or cure
now Rovers are playing behind closed doors ?
I miss the times when we just couldn’t score
when we were brilliant and when we were poor
I miss the cold and the wind on my face
I miss the singing the vibe and the place
I miss the Quorn Pie the banter and friends
but when we all be together again ?
watching online doesn’t do it for me
bring on the day when it’s how it should be
when we are back and we’ll grumble and cheer
making creating a new atmosphere
and I’d give it all to be back here once more
but sadly it’s only still behind closed doors
There is magical Irish mythology
Tuatha Dé Dananns’ dreams were there
In our own retrospective though
the Great Charlton
led the boys to the Italy 1990 glory
Tuatha Dé Dananns’ dreams
That was Italy 1990
when after all
there was the greatest ever goalkeeper
30 years have gone
I believe that Tuatha Dé Dananns’ dreams
are the fact the historians cannot deny and one is
IRELAND qualifies for the 2022 World Cup
I dreamt last night that Shakespeare’s Ghost
Went for an English teaching post
The English paper for that year
Had several questions on King Lear
But Shakespeare answered less than three
Too bad he failed GCSE!
I said to Bill, “Give up thy quill
Pledge football as thy art and will
Play on MacDuff and from the bench
Iago Edgar plot defence
Give Hamlet freedom to express
With Brutus lethal, Cassius…
Vanquish the ghost of Michael Gove
And OFQUAL sorts who seek to scold
Creative thoughts and stifle joy
For what is honour but a ploy
An opiate to fool and tame
But hark we won’t be fooled again
…Leave all behind sheathe sword in boots
Cry God for ‘Arry Kane and SHOOT!”
The Bard a dagger poised to plunge
‘Megged Bacon swift dodged Marlowe’s lunge
A floated goal between the posts…
Aye, poetry in motion Shakespeare’s Ghost.
My father never watched me play football
so at night I contrived to be both
myself on the pitch and him in the stand –
an early exponent of simulation.
From up on The Holte the game unfolds
in flooded light; in the wings silhouetted
masses, punctuated by cigarette flashes.
As I seize upon a loose ball, he’d notice
that possession accrued by chance and not endeavour.
I’m the creative playmaker behind the strikers:
tackling is for the lesser gifted
water-carriers and workers.
Stifling the echoes of yesterday’s quarrels
I play a quick one-two with an accomplice.
I’m equally accomplished with either foot,
the upshot of solitary childhood pursuits
that ruined the lawn in our back garden.
Through the defence I slalom
with feints and drops of the shoulder;
I’m nearing the penalty area
with only the last man to beat.
Then the holes appear around my feet,
dark and deep as graves. I put on the brakes,
afraid what they contain, the ball rolls tamely
into the keeper’s arms.
He used to say I was lacking
in perseverance and focus;
but I replayed this fixture
every night for five years.
The grassroots game is bleeding
And supporters sick of pleading
After 5 months end begin
Now #Let FansIn
The non league supporter knows
All too well the plans proposed
But let common sense this day win
It’s not premier sardine terraces
Packed tight corona menaces
Nor a fashion rave or whim
The beaches packed to rafters
And the pubs all follow after
We’re safer here than them
So flippin’ #LetFansIn
Football history was made
On this very day
Rose up to be the change
On the field of play
Anwar the very first
Of a certain persuasion
Captain in the Football League
As the first British Asian
Uddin the Bangladeshi
Stood high up on that ridge
Hammers, Owls, Rovers
Dagenham & Redbridge
11 08 20
© emdad rahman
Every team needs a talisman
Working his Wembley magic again
Chelsea sent home with a bang
Never before have we seen
Such a spectacle at Wembley
Come Abide With Me
For the Covid London Derby
Joining Stroller Graham
It’s now Arteta the gaffer
Lifting the Cup as skipper
Now both player and manager
Chelsea had looked strong
Pulisic getting the cheers
Azpilicueta off, Kovacic sees Red
Leaving Martinez in joyful tears
01 07 20
© emdad rahman
Once we played on a cinder pitch,
a lava flow field with bubble cavities
on a flattened out Mount St. Helens
of ashes and agglomerates.
Which flow event formed the fine ash
from fire fountain magma clots
for Manchester YMCA and Motspur Park?
How did the ball fall on skin corroding
all-weather ancient dust?
Tell me the calculations you make these days
for a rondo on the Mondo, circles of tiki taka
for former disciples of Norman Hunter,
now billowing Cabbage Whites
with no fear of emergency skin grafts
or a visit to the clinic in Stratfield Turgis
to assess far gone or dubious tissue,
irrigate wounds and prevent a biofilm.
Now we live with skin integrity
even when clouds form a carbon duvet
over Bisham Abbey and dodgy tackles
in dank air send you down in instalments
to a geotextile membrane on aggregate pipe bedding
under rubber crumbed long-pile synthetic grass
more forgiving than black ash and blazing cinder,
scoria data from grain flow and slope failure
up through a vent from the Earth’s centre.
I have this little ice cream cart, it sits outside The Kop
You can see me every matchday wearing my Liverpool top
I call it Anfield Ices , the ice creams are really nice
They’re cool like our big centre half , Big Virg was worth his price.
My customers are all Kopites , Liverpool born and bred
And when I ask “What flavour” they all say strawberry red
Some they want some sprinkles, some they want some sauce
I have this special cone called KLOPP, named after our special boss.
Some fans they want ice lollies,some fans they want a tub
They’ve all one thing in common, Liverpool Football Club
The 99s are popular,a treat for some of their mates
They eat them with their scarves on right next to The Shankly Gates.
I have a cover for my cart it hasn’t any words
Just a plain white background with 2 red Liverbirds
The wheels they are all painted red, need to be changed, they’re rather old
6 stars sit in the middle, they’re a lovely shade of gold.
Some cones they do get broken, in the bin they have to go
And in our trophy room this year, 4 trophies are on show
The Premier League is ours this year, we’ve waited 30 years
But now it sits there pride of place just next to old “Big Ears”.
Who are you, Cazoo?
What do you make or do?
Concoct some alcoholic brew?
Or manufacture paint or glue?
This is what I wished I knew,
When first I heard the name Cazoo,
Because I did not have a clue.
So I did a spot of Googleoo,
Now I know all about Cazoo –
They sell folk cars that have been used.
But still one thing I wish I knew,
Because I do not have a clue:
What has on earth Cazoo to do
With our beloved Royal Blue?
It seems some sort of deal went through.
They waved around wads of spondoos.
Now there’s Cazoo for all to view,
Splashed right across our Royal Blue.
To most of you it won’t be news
To read that I do not approve
Of trade names like this here Cazoo,
Emblazoned on the Royal Blue.
I wish they’d just say “Toodleoo”,
Leave us to do what best we do.
Nil Satis Nisi Optimu’,
Are words that most suit Royal Blue.
Denys E. W. Jones