Poetry Archives

A Game of Two Halves

Give us back footballers of a different breed
High flying skills aye, but take back the greed
Wearing the shirt for the pride not the fame
Kids out on the parks not a PlayStation game
We reclaim our clubs from those corporate suits
We fought hard for justice to give us the truth
Give us back Shankly, Busby and Stein
Them tough talking boys from those old mining fields
Give us back standing, the terrace our world
And most of all tickets that don’t cost the earth
Give us back champions who are just one of us
Like Sir Tom Finney sat with fans on the bus
Give us back David Coleman and his no-nonsense “1-0”
And the boy Duncan Edwards, we’re missing him still
Give us back Johann Cruyff as he turns then to shoot
Matched by bold Billy Liddell in his heaven-made boots
The glorious touch of the grass ‘neath our feet
Replaying the swagger and brash of the street
We remember the matches we won drew and lost
And the values we hold that don’t measure the cost
And remember the walks with our Dads to the grounds
The way we were thrilled by the sound of the crowd
Give us back the Echo in its Saturday pink
And the blether and braw of a post-match drink
Wincing at tackles with blood on the studs
But lovin’ those pitches whose grass turned to mud
Aye, give us back fitbaw of yesteryear
But tell the racists and fascists they’re nae welcome here
Us fans are the lifeblood of our beautiful game
And we reclaim the spirit sold off down the drain
We’re grassroots we’re partisan, we’re young and we’re auld
We’re the heart of our clubs we’re community soul
We’re the mojo the tempo the raw Rock and Roll
So, give us back mavericks who won’t do what they’re told
Gift us elegant sweepers and sleek liberos
And those freewheelin’ wingers who fly from their toes
Give us back footballers carrying some beef
Who head off at halftime with a sigh of relief
And grant every player their chance to be stars
But at least win the league before buying fast cars
Earn your spurs, win your battles, and learn from the scars
It’s a game of one passion, and always two halves
But Football, our heartbeat, our heartbreak, aye, undeniably OURS.

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Progeny FC

I jog because….
I just about can
even though my muscles mutter obscenities at me
and extremities tingle
as the pain of sciatica and arthritis mingle
and internal organs spout the bleedin’ obvious –
cease and desist, old man

but I jog on….
I can’t pick up the pace or twist or turn
so really, I need to find walking football in my locale
but this is a different land
thus kicking is confined, to coaching in a different code (Gaelic)

I’m chomping at the bit to share my old abilities
(if not agilities) –
I’m ready to romp with grandkids
to whom I’ll kick to both feet
to encourage ambipedal dexterity
that will hopefully bring time and space and opportunity
in the art gallery of a match

but natch
there are none as yet (generation alpha)
even though my own progeny could propagate
however, they have yet to maturate

and now….
given the moving landscape of modern life –
soon they’ll be voting for a choice
that could deaden the voice, of the unborn

I might have longer to wait
for my longed for kickabouts

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House Of Cards.

Watching MotD last night
(One minus Lineker, so a bit of alright)
It suddenly struck during viewing
This managerial lark is a shoo in
If one is subtle, and one’s timing is right?

Forget die ausreden being made on the pitch
Which let’s face it is a bit bleating rich?
I mean two up at a West Brom facing the drop,
Zehn minuten zach links auf die Klopp,
Pitch weren’t a problem then Jurgen son was it?

In a week when a fella resigns
Had one or two little prob’s with his eyes
Seems a recent Spec Savers visit
Made PSG look a right blinding bit of business
Opposed to the tin-tack, or a North London P45?

Then we come to a Portuguese man in awe
Adept at blowing his own trumpet, as we say on these shores,
“The owner is happy in the direction we’re going”,
Is that the same direction showed 90 million quid strolling?
To be the cause of a Spurs early goal?

Speaking of Spurs leads me to
Mauricio Pochettino’s post-match interview
Did a fella ever come out on the telly?
With a more blatant…some-one please come and get me
(Same could apply to Dele Alli)
I’ve done as much here, as it’s possible to do?

While over here in West London
Our man faces the conundrum
Of losing at Wembley this after
(Our season being one of total disaster)
Then being replaced, before the match has begun?

Mind you…this season for most has been a right schlep
Toiling in the wake of a name came with a bit of a rep
On occasion, the best team, best football, best manager
Have made the rest of us look borderline amateur
So, a big up to Man City, and – will he stay on as gaffer there? – Pep.


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The 12th Man

Football is mausoleum sans fans
The stadiums mere hollow caverns of bricks and mortar
An abyss of deathly silence
And then on match day it’s sheer umbilical
The very concrete quivers with excitement
Itching for the human pulsebeat
That rises and roars into life
Fuses songs and chants from tongues and throats
The banter the dialogue
But more than this,
The heartbeat of football, thumps
Encased in that terrace cacophony of community
The beautiful feral wild creature that is the terrace,
Nothing like that swaying wall of unadulterated noise
The big wide hungry heart that gives and gives again
Breathing life into the game
And it’s not the high prices ticket touts
Or the over-inflated transfers
The ridiculous notion that anyone is worth 300 million
it’s not the Sky views promising a package to deliver match-day the same
But the 12th Man, can we still say that?
It’s our game, belonging to the fans,
Therefore collectively speaking
Yes, we can. football, our domain.
Swapping tales away days specials
Trabs and Sambas flags and banners
This is the resonance of football
True, you can buy up merchandise
And borrow the hymns ‘a capite ad calcem’
But the shifting paradigms of football lore
From the craic in the door to our hearts
Know you can’t buy soul with silver and gold
Or ransom this faith of our fathers ‘ad captandum’
Punk Politics Philosophy Football, and fans, always fans.

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12th Man

The beautiful feral wild creature that is the terrace,
nothing like that swaying wall of unadulterated noise
the big wide hungry heart that gives and gives again
breathing life into the game

And it’s not the high prices ticket touts
or the over-inflated transfers
the ridiculous notion that anyone is worth 300 million
it’s not the Sky views promising a package to deliver match-day the same

but the 12th Man, can we still say that?
it’s our game, belonging to the fans,
therefore collectively speaking
yes we can. football, our domain.

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a painful defeat
is like a heat-
it follows you
it tracks you
it locks on….

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William Rodney Kee

With silver bullets in his boots
He gets the crowd up when he shoots
He twists he spins he sways and swoops
He’ll grab a brace of goals the noo!
Along with Jackson, Clark, McConn
You know he’ll score another one
“Super Billy Kee” Clayton End terrace roar
“There’s Only One Billy Kee” as he races down to score
He didn’t cost an arm a leg
But priceless now his right peg
He’s big and brave as tough as stone
In Stanley hearts he has a home
He’s boss he’s grand
He’s just the gear
His goals have won him Player of the Year
With fireworks sparking up his boots
His sparkling goals they bear the fruits
He gave ‘The Rat’ the two-fingered salute
He turns defenders inside oot!
Along with Jackson, Clarke, McConn
We know he’ll score another one
“Super Billy Kee” Clayton End terrace roar
“There’s Only One Billy Kee” as he races down to score.

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When You Can’t Be There

no-one can explain it
no-one understands
Sometimes it’s impossible
and way out of your hands
off somewhere or hard at work
you had to wash your hair
but ev’ry fan know how it feels
when you can’t be there

if you’re with the ‘big boys’
and always being shown
in pubs or clubs or online streams
or maybe yes at home
it’s quite another world away
from what it’s like down here
on good old local radio
when you can’t be there

your mates confirm they’re going
you hurry time along
but still you build up for the game
the rituals go on
and there with just the radio
it’s often hard to bear
imagining the way it looks
when you can’t be there

and everybody’s different
the things that they go through
entwined with all the other stuff
this life bestows on you
the other world you love and loathe
and those for whom you care
who either get or can’t believe
your longing to be there

so sometimes from my trusty dial
they help me understand
the beauty of a real live game
for ev’ry football fan
where commentators are like friends
whose nervousness we share
they make it oh so sweet again
When you can be there..

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Cynical Approach.

Like some lumberjack hipster
From London’s gentrified East-end
He entered the fray from the bench
Stuck a swift deuce away
Straight up saved the day
Cynics amongst us enthused,
(Me included to boot)
Bout resurgent French striker Giroud,
“Still, at least he ain’t playing, scoring for them*
Mind you…if he’s half as good as Cashley he’ll do”!*


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Grassroots Football

We’re easily pleased us football fans
We don’t dote on silver and gold
Just a player who puts in a decent shift
And every now and then a half decent goal

We love the blokes who huff and puff around the pitch
And give it everything they’ve got
No champions league prancing princes
On half a million for every misplaced wayward shot

Oh, give us this day our standing terrace back
And leave the moaners in the pubs
To stand and shout at the google box
In their fake lacoste trackies and adidas trabs

Let me que two hours to buy my tickets
I don’t mind the biting rain
Banter laughs and who cares the crowd is one man and his dog
It’s boss to be a match-day standing terrace fan again

Yea, let me forget the cold that bites my ageing toes
Ignore the joyless creaks in my protesting bones
Sound forth the childhood voice not mobile phones
“It’s boss to be a match-day standing terrace fan again!”


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