Remembering Georgie Best

1 Leave a comment on verse 1 0 My dad never held me as a child
In all the family photo’s it’s Mum holding me
Dad with his arm around her looking on
In one picture he’s looking down at me
I’m tiny just a few days old
With an expression of utter wonder
But always Mum holding, always Dad looking

2 Leave a comment on verse 2 0 I loved my Dad
I know you’re supposed to, he’s your Dad
But I would have anyway
He was a large quiet man with large quiet hands
A seemingly bottomless well of patience
And a slow considered way of speaking
Which made people want to listen

3 Leave a comment on verse 3 0 He’d come home from work and pick Mum up
Swinging her around and nuzzling her neck
So that she’d go red, squeal and giggle
He’d wink at me over her shoulder
And sometimes on his way to clean up for dinner
He’d ruffle my hair as he passed
But Dad never held me as a child

4 Leave a comment on verse 4 0 He took me to the football
I wasn’t really interested in football
But it was the first thing we’d done together just us
So I went along quite happily
It was full of more large men in large scratchy coats
Smelling of cigarettes and beer
And inexplicably when it rained of wet dog

5 Leave a comment on verse 5 0 Then our team scored and the magic happened
My dad held me
He threw his arms around me and swung me around
Not playfully like he did with Mum
But wildly his face alight with a kind of primal joy
Thumping me on the back and howling
All the while jumping up and down

6 Leave a comment on verse 6 0 After that I loved football
Every goal was like a sacrament
Some lean seasons coming around about as often as holy days
Or so it seemed to me
As I grew older and Dad grew smaller
There was less lifting and swinging
But the hugs and pats and untrammelled joy never lessened

7 Leave a comment on verse 7 0 After I left home and moved away
Watching my football in foreign parts among strangers
Each goal still lifted my heart a little even on the darkest days
Like a phantom hug from a distant father
And when I was home for Christmas we’d head down to the crumbling church
With its concrete pews surrounding it’s muddy rectangular altar
And renew our vows the only way we knew how

8 Leave a comment on verse 8 0 I loved my Dad and he loved me and I love football
For allowing that love a physical expression
I might otherwise have never known
Toward the end when Dad didn’t remember me
He could still remember Georgie Best and I didn’t mind
He used to say that he was the most beautiful thing he’d ever seen
Apart from my Mum

9 Leave a comment on verse 9 3 I loved my Dad and he loved me
But I’ll hold my son every chance I get
And tell him he’s loved to the point where it’s embarrassing
I’ll take him to the football when he’s old enough
And the hugs might be a little bit harder
When we’ve just scored a goal
And his Grandad joins in


Source: http://footballpoets.org/poems/remembering-georgie-best/