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Standing in the Brummie Road, circa 1978:
Dad’s a few rows back, hands in pockets
scarf around his mouth like a terrorist.
I’m down the front behind the lads
hanging off the fences, scarves tied to their wrists.
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The team’s are on the pitch, Regis
and Bomber Brown stand over the ball
at the centre circle, moving their weight
from foot to foot and rubbing their hands together
(to keep the cold at bay or in anticipation?)
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The whistle blows and the crowd roars.
Heads follow each pass, each darting run,
then a hopeful punt forward sends it our way
and the surfing begins as the crowd surges
and swoops down several steps in seconds.
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The space you had before has gone-
you are too crammed now even to clap,
barely able to take a deep breath
until the corner is taken, the danger cleared
and the trudge back up begins… until the next wave.