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I crossed over the road from the undertakers
walked in through the park gate
and there it was:
my old pitch, bathed in beautiful sun
still marked, still in obvious use
And I remembered back
to my very first game –
you got me hand-me down footwear, aye,
but just like “Billy’s Boots”, they became my very own
and I scored 2 goals
and you were so proud
and so pleased for me.
After that, you didn’t watch much
for you were never a ‘soccer mom’
but you were great for the fundraisers
your baking legendary, ditto your infectious sense of fun
and as ever, you got me started, got me going, chivvied me along
knowing my interest.
I didn’t score many more goals
for I was better as a defender
likewise you, protecting Dad, Adrian & Claire.
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Many years have passed
and now I’m back where it all started
here in Bushy Park
slogging my way around the original Parkrun venue
but I have you at my shoulder, egging me on
in fact pushing me on, to a PB.
Ok, it’s not enough, to get my name
reverberating around Stamford Bridge
nor Griffen Park
but as I stagger over the finish line
I know I have many more races left in me
your race has run.
The pain is etched in my heart
as you help God roll out the sun.