Tackling the tour (and Cancer)

1 Leave a comment on verse 1 0 We all remember Geoff Thomas – not for his eager
foraging or his forward runs or his totally committed,
whole hearted displays for Palace, Wolves, Rochdale,

2 Leave a comment on verse 2 0 Crewe or England. No, we remember him for
that miss, that one on one chance, versus
France, when clean through and just the keeper

3 Leave a comment on verse 3 0 to beat, where he elected to chip, but failed to
clip, even the corner flag. A moment of infamy,
a chance fluffed, and no matter how much he

4 Leave a comment on verse 4 0 puffed his way through his career, that was his
last cap, his last appearance on an international stage.
But his nemesis looms again. Higher, longer, steeper.

5 Leave a comment on verse 5 0 For now he’s to ride the Tour de France, to head the
peloton, admittedly a week in advance, but he’ll
be taking the same tortuous route, pushing his

6 Leave a comment on verse 6 0 body to it’s limits, a body that’s been riddled with
drugs, but legitimately so, necessarily so, desperately so;
administered a noxious coctail to combat cancer.

7 Leave a comment on verse 7 0 Just out of remission, Geoff is taking on a new
challenge, to raise money for charity in the fight
against leukaemia, his main rivals – not Armstrong

8 Leave a comment on verse 8 0 or Ullrich, Basso or Mayo, but Anaemia, Fatigue,
Piles and Pallor. Team Thomas will rely on
his ‘domestiques’ of Courage, Determination,

9 Leave a comment on verse 9 0 Spirit and Valour. Whoever wins the main tour,
whether it be a record seventh for Lance, or a new
name in the frame, there’ll be no-one more deserving of

10 Leave a comment on verse 10 0 the maillot jaune, than our Geoff.




maillot jaune = the Tour leader’s yellow jersey

domestiques = ‘water carriers’, i.e. the team leaders workhorses, a phrase once famously used by Eric Cantona when disparaging Didier Deschamps.

Quote from Geoff :
“If I do this, it will be biggest the achievement of my life. And if I get to the finish on the Champs-Elysees, I will be an emotional mess as it is only two years ago that my life got turned upside down.”

to support the charity (to help combat leukaemia), link here :

Follow Geoff’s progress at his own site :
There are some familiar names from the football world there, who’ve
also been affected by leukaemia.

The BBC wrote :
A week before Lance Armstrong bids for a seventh Tour win, former England footballer Geoff Thomas started his assault on the 3,484km route.
In itself, the achievement of completing one of the world’s great sporting obstacles would be remarkable enough. But the ex-Crystal Palace midfielder is currently in remission from leukaemia.
“I’m not, say, an Ian Botham who can raise millions of pounds,” he said. “But even my miss against France keeps my name going in the public eye. If I can use that to the good, it’s all the best, although I certainly didn’t feel good about it at the time!
“The cancer has made me stop moaning about something trivial. It teaches you a lot in life and how to move on to the next day.”

to read the BBC article in full, link here :

Good luck to Geoff on his tour and on his journey in life battling against leukaemia
and to everyone else fighting Cancer.

Source: http://footballpoets.org/poems/tackling-the-tour-and-cancer/