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Crouched, or lying full length next to the goalmouth;
On a stool, behind the net when it’s a penalty kick.
Scruffy anorak, thick-rimmed glasses, greasy hair.
Fag in mouth, pockets stuffed with film rolls. Click.
Captures the heroes, the nobodies, the quirky, the
Spectacular. Gets trampled by studs when players
Over-run the edge – but gets up and gets on with it.
Phlegmatic, seen it all before. No gestures that belie
His personal loyalties if a last-minute header flies in.
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From that black and white time, no need for official
Accreditation, no need to hide behind advert boards,
No need for high-powered lenses. You were there,
In the thick of it all – smelling the mud, hearing the
Crude obscenities from men on the field. Just a white
Line between you and the action unfolding. From
Meredith and James, from Matthews and Finney, from
Best and Baxter, from Dalglish and Lineker. You were
There. Camera in hand, at the ready. On the spot. Click.
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And the goalies – your closest companions; net-minders
Extraordinaire. Hibbs, Swift, Williams, Banks, Shilton.
You lay flat, nearby – in touching distance, almost – as
They dived, smothered, finger-tipped their way to fame.
Kept for posterity on 35mm. Before TV our only record.
A snapshot to immortality. And the pre-season press days,
New kit, shining faces – lined-up with the boss front row.
To face the picture, fashions and haircuts frozen forever.
Their shutters a window, it was Aim, Frame, Focus, Click.