“Sober Football”

1 Leave a comment on verse 1 0 I’m at a club called Volendam
I’ve been here once before
The ground has completely changed
And I can’t recall the score.
It would have been very early Nineties
As booze was just getting a grip
Soon every penny I had was spent on beer
As alcohol made me sick.
All I ever cared about
Was that I had my next drink
At times I almost lost my job and family
Taken right to the brink.
Today life isn’t perfect
But it could be a lot worse
And thanks to this thing called poetry
I can clear my head with verse.
I wonder if I’d been ‘normal’
How many grounds and trips I’d have done
Best that I don’t look back in anger
And in sobriety have my fun.
For at least now I’m travelling
Even though I’m not rich
Instead of having a blackout
And lying in a ditch.
This is the start of my birthday trip
When I ‘treat myself’ for staying dry
Another year of recovery
Emotional enough to make me cry.
Not this very minute
And maybe not physically so
But mentally I’m still a mess
Generally being low.
If I’d carried on drinking
For sure I know I’d be dead
So does it really matter
That I feel messed up in my head?
I’ve let down a lot of people
Got friends and family I don’t deserve
No wonder when I was really drunk
So many gave me a swerve.
I’ve had many a night
When I’ve gone home and cried
Thinking my life would have been better
If I’d jumped under a train and died.
Despite all that sounding negative
I’m grateful to the friends & family I’ve got
The fact they stuck with and love me
Means an awful lot.
I often feel a fraud
With friends who only knew me drinking coke
They don’t know the old drunk me
Hidden by my sobriety cloak.
All that shouldn’t matter
It’s a burden I’ll always carry
But having just said all that
I’m as happy as the proverbial Larry.
I’m sat here to watch the football
Euro-Pop trash blaring out
Yet unbelieveably calm and contented
No longer a drunken lout.
Sometimes it’s good to get away from Dulwich
Just here to watch a game
Much as I love The Hamlet
At home it’s never the same.
Worrying about the club’s future
Will we get that ground…
When will it be time to step back
Do I still want to be around?
For I love the peace and pleasure
Of my trips abroad
The outcome of this game won’t ruin my week
It doesn’t matter what goals are scored.
On nights like this I’m chilled out
Happy to be a groundhopping type of fan
Stuff the anoraky stigma
I do it because I now can.


(I always go on holiday around my birthday, in October 2016 I visited the Netherlands. I went to a football match at Volendam, in Holland. I’ve been there before, back in my drinking days, when I still managed to travel abroad before drinking got a grip, and I needed all of my money to fuel my alcoholism…this is poem about that…I think! It started off as a simple poem about the match…!)

Source: http://footballpoets.org/poems/sober-football/