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Terry Neill obituary

1 Leave a comment on verse 1 0 And so we remember the passing
Of an Irish legend
On the cusp of his octogenarian
Pride of place
Within the marbled halls of
Arsenal’s Highbury
Terry Neill, a yeoman of the
Guard, a sterling defender
A bastion of red blooded
Robustness, strong, impassable
A green brick wall of impregnability
Northern Ireland will mourn
This tower of strength
Through the tempestuous
Bloody battles of the IRA
When none could silence
The heartache and suffering
Of the eternally witty and lyrical
People of Belfast and the Shankhill
Road, lovely people who just wanted
To live under the warm blanket
Of peace and love
Neill arrived at Arsenal
And fastened himself securely
To the folklore once spread
By the Boy Bastin, Hapgood, the
The elusive and delightful Alex
James
Then Neill encountered
Brady. Liam Brady and sighed
With religious reverence
Brady, so young but replete
With originality and heaven sent
Talent
Then out of the corner of
Neill’s eye spotted Peter
Storey, Jon Samuels, Eddie Kelly,
George Graham
Too good to be true
A festival and carnival
Had arrived in Neill’s vision
Then there were the managerial
Years at Arsenal,
Three consecutive FA Cup Finals
Defeat in 78 by the country folk
Of Suffolk’s Ipswich Town
Roger Osborne stunned and
Overcome in rhapsodies of blue
He did score the winning goal
But Arsenal quickly erased
These horrendous Wembley
Images from their mind
A year later Arsenal
Return to the scene of the crime
And narrowly edge an epic
Five goal thriller against the world
Famous and fabled Manchester United
A delicious concoction of Irish stews
Frank Stapleton, David O’Leary and
Liam Brady intoxicate the soul
And the palate
Then in 1980, a knight of the realm
Now, stooped to conquer
With claret and blue signatures
Sir Trevor Brooking, unlikely
And physically improbable
West Ham, through and through
A headed winner so low down
On the grass and soil of Wembley’s
Green acres
That couldn’t have happened
Terry Neill, gracious in defeat
But still smiling at the romantic
Pages of Wembley past
Finally, Neill commits the cardinal sin
Crossing the great North London divide
Surely a rush of blood to the head
Boss at Spurs, the ultimate footballing
Betrayal, breaking Arsenal hearts
How dare he
Unforgivable surely but
Let bygones be bygones
Terry Neill full of Irish
Mellowness and the blarney
A man of engaging honesty
A quick quip or joke for the Clock
End at Highbury
Still unmistakably Arsenal
Through and through

5

Notes

Terry Neill, a remarkable man and manager dies today, my obituary and tribute.

Source: http://footballpoets.org/poems/terry-neill-obituary/