“The Wally at Zwoll-ie”

1 Leave a comment on verse 1 0 Tonight I nearly messed up
Almost got into a fluster
Saved by the best Cockney bull
That even I could muster.
Zwolle versus Venlo
The last game I was going to see
What could possibly go wrong
To a mild-mattered bloke like me?
I take my seat one hundred and seven
In Row 18 of their “Ultra’s” stand
But it seemed quite mild-mannered
Yet almost got out of hand.
Just before kick-off
Two blokes say something in Dutch
I just shrug my shoulders
Which doesn’t please them much.
When I say I’m English
They say I’m in their seat
But I know I’m in the right
So I’ve got the locals beat.
I flash them my ticket
To prove I’m in the right place
That’s when they threaten me
Spouting nonsense to my face.
The trouble with Dutch geezers in general
Is they all stand about six foot ten
And this bloke was eight inches taller than me
Probably a bit more again!
I said “What’s your bleeding problem?”
I could also give it large
Just to let him know as always
The English were in charge.
Then he came out with the classic words:
“Do you want a fight?”
Inside I was bricking myself
This wasn’t going to be my night!
I pointed to the cameras
With all the bravado I could muster
Wishing I was carrying
An old-fashioned knuckle duster.
So him and his mate took a pew
In the seats next to mine
Maybe if I kept it zipped
During the match I’d be fine.
But no he wouldn’t leave it
He wouldn’t let it lie
There was a strong chance I would kiss
What teeth I’ve got left goodbye.
‘So us English we think we’re tough’..
But the’ Dutch hooligans are the best’
For gawd sake stop your bullshit
You’re becoming a pest.
I let him rabbit on
There’s Dutch waffle and porky pies
But then I made the ‘mistake’ of smirking
At one of his hurdy gurdy lies.
He had just told me
Zwolle was Holland’s biggest firm in size
Then I used poetic licence
Which took him by surprise.
When I said: “So what I’m Millwall”
He lost all of his hate
Staring he went to shake my hand
And said “Oh, sorry mate”.
That should have been it all over
But he picked up his phone
All I understood was ‘hooligan’ and ‘Millwall’
I never felt more alone.
Coming up from the terrace
Came two more blokes looking mean
I really hope I hid it well
Turning a sickly green.
They weren’t as old as me
But you could see they knew their stuff
You didn’t need to ask them
If they stood their ground when it got tough.
I’m glad my fright didn’t show
My luck was about to turn
They asked about the famous Bushwackers
And wanted to listen and learn!
I didn’t know their contacts
So had to make it up on the hoof
Saying I was really at the old Den
When I was naughtier in my youth.
I actually got away with it
Tales I began to regale
But then when I said I was at Luton
How could I really fail?
As for this game it was a home win
So everyone was happy
But I declined a post-match pint or two
I wanted to leave rather snappy.
I said I was leaving rather sharpish
Made out I had an early flight
But not before I shook hands
And bade them goodnight.
Turns out they’re welcome in London
An ‘open invite’ to my place
Which they were really chuffed at
Thinking it rather ace.
Except I made up an email
And said my name was John
A masterful piece of deception
Their dreams of Cold Blow Lane gone!

(On 26th October 2016 I saw the last match on my Dutch trip, at PEC Zwolle. The game ,ahem, interesting…as one of their fans tried to stir up trouble with me…luckily I talked my way out of it)

Source: http://footballpoets.org/poems/the-wally-at-zwoll-ie/