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Taking penalties ‘gainst Grandad improved my skills no end,
He couldn’t shuffle very fast and found it hard to bend.
Hard and low to left or right
Would send me whooping with delight.
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A Franny Lee spectacular quite often wouldn’t pay –
He hadn’t the agility to move out of the way.
‘Twas better far to make the most
Of that great gap ‘twixt him and post.
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Whene’er one came too close to him, he’d stretch a spindly leg,
Proclaiming very loudly “Are you watching, Harry Gregg?”
And then he’d wobble and I’d freeze,
Afraid the shot would break his knees.
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And then we’d wander slowly home and chat about the world,
The size of Swifty’s giant hands and how a ball was curled,
Me with wonderment and awe,
Him with joints all stiff and sore.
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When Grandma saw him hobble in, she’d give it to him straight,
Scolding him for coming home in such a sorry state.
But when she turned, he’d wink at me
And grin conspiratorially.