Tuesday, January 4th, 2022
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It was Barry’s idea, so
he only has himself to blame.
For all the thrill of orbital flight,
of seeing the Earth from space,
those journeys are so damn boring.
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I admit to sneaking the ball in,
and that Barry was winding me up.
The running commentary didn’t help,
calling me Gareth Southgate,
him being Andreas Köpke.
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No one could have predicted
the ball would hit the airlock button,
just when Barry was leaping up,
trying to stop my rocket blast,
straight to the top left corner.
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Perhaps he’ll be a hero yet,
get a glove to an asteroid
hurtling towards the Earth.
The slightest of deflections,
nudging it over the bar.
This poem is taken from Joe’s book The Taking Part, a short collection of poems on the theme of sport and games, published by Maytree Press in 2021. https://joewilliams.co.uk/publication/the-taking-part/
This one is from my book The Taking Part. As you can probably tell, it’s a true story.
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Welcome to Football Poets -- a club for all football poets, lovers of football and lovers of (alternative) poetry. Discover poets in every league from respected internationals at the top of their game to young hopefuls in the school playground.
Publish your football poems here and then discuss them with your team mates and fans. We're archived by The British Library, so your masterpieces are in the safe hands of a world-class keeper. What a result!
4th January 2022 at 7:43 pm
See in context
16th November 2022 at 11:04 am
[Football on soiled turf]
This is a wonderful phrase which I shall be using from now on!
15th November 2022 at 3:54 pm
Well said Crispin. One of the reasons for The Ball 2022/23 is exactly this – that FIFA need to know. The Ball is essentially a petition to FIFA to honour their commitments to the UN Sports for Climate Action Framework. They signed up; they should act. The Qatar tournament takes the World Cup in the opposite direction to that commitment. And 2026 looks like it’ll be even worse.
8th November 2022 at 2:06 pm
Re ‘Lets Boycott Qatar ‘ poem
You probably hate me banging on..and problably know (like me) that my/your not watching the World Cup in Qatar will make no difference.
Of course it won’t. That’s not the point.
OK someone might possibly eventually publish a minimal drop in terrestrial TV viewer numbers, but I fear that is unlikely.
But please above all, do go on writing poems about the World Cup, as/you we have always done. I hate to think a poem or two of mine might l make you feel bad about comenting on a game or country …or that I’ve put you all off about wanting to contribute.
So we’d love to hear from you and read your thoughts and observations, as ever on what’s going on.
Some of us have been here since Football Poets website birth/inception for the Euros 2000 ….
All my best wishes
18th October 2022 at 10:06 am
Shoot! (Something we’ve also been screaming in vain at our team all season !)
Great memories Joe . Before Shoot, it was Roy of the Rovers comic too, dropping through my letterbox.
Anxiously waiting each week to see if they survived in the mexcian jungle after an ambush..or a pre-season earthquake!
3rd October 2022 at 8:32 pm
Thanks for the kind words Sharon. Yes, it was a shame with Billy Shako, but with five subs now being allowed, he might yet make it off the bench. Even if it’s just a cameo to close out a poem.
2nd October 2022 at 1:49 pm
John, your new book is an absolute delight and more please. It’s a shame ‘Swapping Shirts With Shakespeare’ never made it off the bench, but quality football poets light up the writing fields like Roman candles. Go well.
4th September 2022 at 12:42 pm
Great memories Greg. Took me right back.
Today I stand on a small terrace in the hills where I live watching Forest Green Rovers in L1, and keep up with Chelsea on highlights. It’s a far cry and a world away from those times when I lived as a child within walking distance of ‘The Bridge’ – just off the Ifield Road, which led to Fulham Road. The Blues were rubbish for so long, but we loved them and somehow we stayed in the old First Division for so many seasons. And of course we got to see Greavesie at his impudent best, scoring goals for fun. Mad unpredictable games where we’d score 4 and let in five.
The looming floodlights in the dark and mist on magic night games. The big games when the ground heaved.
I don’t think we ever realized how magical and incredible it was back then. The atmosphere and arriving there so early – like you said.. just to make sure you got in. Back when Bovril, tea and cake and roasted peanuts for sixpence a back were just about all on offer.
4th September 2022 at 12:37 pm
18th August 2022 at 10:20 am
To put it politely!
8th August 2022 at 6:01 pm
Thank you. It is great.