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Terry Venables

1 Leave a comment on verse 1 0 Oh Venners how we’ll miss you
Terry Venables
A comfortable seat in heaven
Awaits you, sir
Although never knighted
But we were simply delighted
To be part of your star studded
Journey, the voyage that seemed
To decorate 1996 with the
Finest polish, a vibrant varnish
Gleaming into the smiling faces
Of the old Wembley Stadium
On that night of nights
When the Germans briefly trembled
You restored our faith in human
Nature and impulse
Terry Venables
Your enduring and heart warming
Faith in Gazza
When most of us thought
The cheeky rascal
From our trusted Geordie
Lands of lavish gifts
Just sobbed like a baby
As Lineker winked
At dear Sir Bobby
And then
From the early days on the Bridge
Crossing frontiers
Far and wide
When Chelsea belonged
To the showbiz and film star
Network of gallivanting glamour
Across the roads and streets
Of our formative childhood
Terry Venables always in
The luxury first class suite
Of footballers with class,
Knowledge and footballing erudition
The first rungs on the ladder
Before QPR called from the West London
Back streets where football
Demanded Venners presence
Terry, over here son
Spurs require your services
At once
Along the painterly portrait
Of Danny Blanchflower
The fearless Dave Mackay
Like an unconquerable mountain
We were in oceans of space
Nobody’s marking me at all
His extravagant talent glinting
Like a nugget of
Quite magnificent gold
Venners took tenancy in midfield
The orchestrator, the woodwind
And percussion section,
Analysing the game like
A learned professor
From the finest red brick
University
A lecturer on the game
In later life
When the game was described
In different text books
Here’s football
Nothing complicated El Tel
But he knew from deep within
An earnest encyclopaedic mind
Always working, scheming, plotting,
Thinking like Rodin
Destined to be a manager
When Spurs reached out to
The Dagenham dynamo
With fiercely ambitious fingers
That finally reached out to grasp
For precious silverware
In 1991 when Cloughie and Venners
Stood side by side
FA Cup Final in tandem
When Gazza had that famous rush of
Blood to head and almost
Pressed the self destruct
Button, when all seemed
Perfectly innocent
But Terry Venables lifted
The Cup
Those laurels of victory
So richly deserved
In a storied career
As player and boss
At the highest level
Then the High Court
Intervened and trouble
Brewed ever so briefly
But Venables was always
Made of sterner stuff
Stainless steel,
Hard as Fergie’s granite
From Aberdeen
A player articulating the
Most clearly enunciated
Vowels and consonants
Football’s semantics
Its romantic ideals
How the game should be
Exhibited with art
And ostentation spiced
With just a dash of
Fluid flamboyance
The good stuff
Players felt good
And lifted by
The silvery tongue
Of Venners
Before 1996 dawned
And the nation willed
England forward
To the elusive fantasy
Of Euro 96 glory
Sadly the Germans
Stifled our hopes
In a classic moment
Of retribution for
The day thirty years
Earlier, oh shucks so near
But then far away
It was always the Germans,
So the semi final at Wembley
Fields of Euro rejoicing
Spain, after gripping penalty
Shoot out,
The Netherlands blown
Away by an orange tidal wave
Of white English shirts
Steady Teddy Sheringham,
Alan Shearer they all jumped
Onto the fairground odyssey
Before the Germans
Surrounded England with
Far more lethal ammunition
Alan Shearer nods the opener
For Terry’s delectation
And the Germans spoil the
Evening with a leveller
At this moment
We knew the worst
For 1996 read 1970 World Cup
When Sir Alf and Venners
Thought they’d rumbled the
Opposition with
Breathless foresight
Gazza lunges decade defining
Leg at the sharpest of cut backs
Oh how desperately close
And yet extra time gave
Us no rich bumper crops of harvests
Of goals, sadly the winner
Just seemed to escape from Venables
Penalties our undoing yet again
Gareth Southgate, eyes on the ball
And normally deadly on the spot
But driven at the German keeper
As the ball crashed straight into Teutonic
Patellas, knee caps stung
The famous obstacle again
Terry Venables face, a picture of
Despair, lips pursed and then bitten
With the harshness of the moment
Front teeth clenched together
In a study of frozen frustration
Next to him Don Howe
Speechless, it always happens
To England
The collaboration of fate
And just unfortunate circumstance
El Tel though
Our hero, your hero
Because loyalty was essential
To his football CV
Terry Venables always alive
And receptive to the latest trends
But just wanted his players
To express his philosophy
In simple words, everyday remarks
In recent years
Launching well constructed menus
In swanky Spanish restaurants
The football public and community
Will miss you El Tel
The laddish banter,
Down to earth authenticity
Venners was one of us
El Tel
Football will never
Forget you, it would
Be criminal to do so

5

Notes

This is my eulogy to the one and only and now sadly late Terry Venables.

Source: http://footballpoets.org/poems/terry-venables/