Poetry Archives

Only One Banksy( R.I.P. Gordon)

When millennials hear of Banksy
they think of the bloke who scrawls on walls
But when oldies think of Banksy
they remember the great goalie saving balls.
Of his heroic days at Wembley
especially in July of Sixty- Six
But it’s four year later we’ll remember more
the star between the sticks

It was a hot and humid afternoon
beneath the scorching Jalisco sun
when Banksy made the greatest save
that’s been bettered since by none

The great Jairzinho got the ball
He was on the right wing for Brazil
and he took on Terry Cooper
with the score line still nil- nil
He went ‘round Cooper skillfully
with confidence and ease
then heard a cry, “on me ‘ead son”
yelled in guttural Portuguese
He sent the cross in powerfully
and Pele’s head it met
and everybody watching thought
the ball was in the net.
GOL !!! screamed Pele excitedly
As he raised his arms with glee
“ Pele puts Brazil ahead”
said the man on I.T.V.

But Banksy on his near post still
was having none of that
and he hurled himself across
his goal like a circus acrobat.
He got his hand under the ball
after allowing for the bounce
“the greatest save I’ve ever seen”
the commentator now announced.

Jairzinho eventually broke the deadlock
and Brazil won – one to nil
but that save by Banks from Pele
Is shown and talked of still.
Now Gordon passed away last week
He’s moved to heaven from his grave
And the first question that God asked him was
“How the Hell did you make that save?”


My 60th Anniversary

Going to Fellows Park with my Dad
I thought football was simply great
But then came the turning point
For a lad who’d just turned eight
My cousin said come with me
I’ll take you to Molineux
To watch Wolves, who’re top of the league
Come on we’ll go, just me and you.

So there I was, an innocent lad
First game I’d seen without my Dad
Out came the Wolves, led by Billy Wright
And Danny Blanchflower, his lads in white
It was football like I’d never seen
And although we hadn’t won
By the time the final whistle blew
My journey had begun.

And so all through the later years
In West Bromwich I went to school
All my mates being Albion fans
They thought I was a fool
Looking back to that first game
You may think this is a joke
But my overriding memory
Is the smell of cigarette smoke.

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Football Lighthouse

There’s a dream that I left back in childhood
In the overgrown grass down a lane

On a park named my very own Anfield
A place where the child used to play

Where the days stretched out long in the summers
And the shadows of age had no stage

On a park where I danced down the wings
Jinking runs where the child loved to play

There’s a dream that I harbour from childhood
Where the ghosts of my youth choose to play

And the lighthouse of football shines brightly
On that pitch where the child aye still plays.

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Where We Belong

We’ve been here before
We’ve seen the highs and the lows
We’ve rolled with the punches
And absorbed the blows
We’ve been here before
And though we put up a fight
We lasted three seasons
But it just never felt right

We’ve been here before
But it all feels so new
Now we have a Manager
With more than a clue
Now we have players
Who play as a team
The type of players
Who once were a dream

Love us or hate us
We’re here to stay
Earning grudging respect
Along the way
With every match a sell out
The South Bank in full song
We’re back in the top flight
Where we belong.

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Going To The Game

car or bus or coach or train
climbing up the hill again
in the howling wind and rain
ev’ry time the same
ev’ry single step you take
premonitions that you make
habits that you never break
going to the game

superstitions that you keep
in your heart and in your sleep
feelings harboured long and deep
ever since you came
as a child soaked to the skin
on your bike against the wind
this is how it all begins
going to the game

all the moments you have found
visiting your fav’rite ground
atmospheres and sights and sounds
far too great to name
no-one knows what pulls you here
sometimes tearing out your hair
still you’re back to watch and share
going to the game

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Mirth Mayhem & Magic

These groaning bones of life
With chill upon this winter earth
In search of little solstice
And a spruce of football mirth

Keep us from the devil
And his tackling for the soul
For there’s glory in those football boots
Puer grace in every goal

God love you William Shankly
And the truth that hued your team
God hold the hand of Maradona
God bless the head of William Dean

Oh, my well-worn match-day memories
Lo, the pitch of fading green
Fire my heart brimmed up emotion
With the joy that football brings.

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This Football Life

In a certain light
My son looks like the grand-father he never knew
My son, all grown up,
A Burnley born boy with Scouse blood coursing through his veins
But most of all in his sardonic sense of humour
His grandfather would’ve loved him as much as I do

My father is present by his absence
31 years ago today he passed
And we didn’t speak for four years before
Locked into a defiant angry silence that killed both of us in different ways
But as a child from the best view
Safe atop his shoulders, I found Liverpool, Shankly, Home

I look at my son
With his wry smile,
Standing upright in the world, finding his place
Loving his footie and sharing his stories with me
Just like his grand-dad once did with his child
And I know forgiveness.


Gordon Banks – England’s number one

Pele screamed “Gol”
Alberto and Jairzinho tricky
Banks saves heart and soul
Modestly terming it “lucky”

Brilliance from the World Cup winner
In the heat of Guadalajara
Chesterfield, Leicester, Stoke, FIFA
Named six times keeper of the year

Once the Kop lauded merrily
“Nice work, Gordon,” sang the ranks
Lap of honour with Bill Shankly
You’ll never walk alone Gordon Banks

Gordon Banks 1937-2019

12 02 19

© emdad rahman

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Gordon Banks R.I.P.

Of all the saves
In all the games
It had to be Pelé

Of all the discussions
In all the bars
GOAT, is normally the great divider

Greatest player, greatest manager
Greatest team, greatest final
Greatest ….
keeper (you’re up there)
No 10

Every tagging will engender…
debate upon debate
but all the pondering and deliberation
is immediately set aside
when it comes to the Greatest Save…

for none can touch it

Except you did
not just touch it, reach it, block it
but divert it
alter it’s trajectory – as if the sun had exploded

Pelé, was discommoded
but even he
saw the beauty
of how your paw
managed to draw
the very breath away from our lungs
and yet utter in many varied tongues…
“How the……..!!!!!!”

Gordon, we now lay you to rest
in that great goalmouth in the sky
but with a shared saddened sigh
we’ll all acknowledge
that your memory will be as treasured, and….
as safe as the “Banks of England”

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I am ageing
Thus begins the slow decline, the hint of the light darkening,
Gradually, sometimes gently,
I deny it sometimes
When I listen to Beatles Bowie and Bolan
And the heady scent of rebellion shimmers back unshackled
In the guise of my teenage spirit
Lydon snarls with his snarky verbs
And then I laugh, almost convincingly, and dodge the mirror
With its cruel truths and unflinching real news
I am ageing, aye, and thank God for it,
For I saw Dalglish Hansen Souness as princes of the park
As kings in their pomp
And when I’ve forgotten my own story,
As my body forgets it once had a skinny waist
This Liverpool and my father’s smile,
Like the notes of a song, will stoically remain.

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Source: http://footballpoets.org/poems/page/2/