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Captain hollered, “Kev!
Fella’s hurted his leg*
Need you to take his place, and go in goal”?
Pulling on the goalies top,
A hurried sign of the cross
I ran out with the chaps to face our foe.
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Battered, bruised, we sweated blood
On a field of energy sapping mud
Battling hard to fight the fight as one
Bouts of fisticuffs tis true
Desperate tactics rarely used
One man down, in fear of being over-run?
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Sly kicks at a fella’s shin
A crafty head-butt to the chin
Retribution for their crocking our poor goalie
Eventually evening that score
One or two let out a roar
To a knelt knee in a place considered holy?
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You could say the game was fraught
With the fracas being fought
Well at odds with sportsmanship and fair play?
Your man on the touch-line crying
Our chance of victory subsiding
Spurred mere kids to gladiators primed to fray.
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Times your enemy, dog tired
Every shot at me they fired
Seemed to knock me down, hit the woodwork, or plain miss
A couple I managed to save on purpose
Left me winded, bruised and curious…
Enough to scold myself, I didn’t… bleating volunteer for this?
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The long and short of it…a draw
and the ear shattering furore,
At the whistle, a moment rare amongst our lot
Sinking exhausted to the soil,
Bruised brown from our toil
To overcome the odds, dishing out as we had got.
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There weren’t no winners, cups, a medal
Climbing high upon a pedestal
Acknowledging a wonderful victory or ones dream
Despite being dropped in the excrement together
We made light of heavy weather
Clichés, yet apt in summing up…our team.
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A Clapham Common bus-stop
On a morning ne’er to be forgot
I lit a thrupenny loose, and puffed contentedly away
At what? Maybe nine-ten years of age?
I came to realize that day, gazing on the Elysian (LCC) fields of play…*
If your keepers crocked, let some other stupid eejit take his place.