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Towards Inclusive Atmospheres

1 Leave a comment on verse 1 0 a friend and I were talking
before the match last night
on language and behaviour
and stuff that we don’t like
on how we felt about it all
the things that we believe
to not be thought old fashioned
to not be classed naive
but still we feel uneasy
we quiver at the sounds
of racism and sexism
we’ve heard inside some grounds
the words we term ‘industrial’
the things you always hear
and take for granted at a game
within the atmosphere

2 Leave a comment on verse 2 0 we spoke about our childhoods
the post war world we knew
when we’d escape on Saturdays
for just a bob or two
the fifties and the sixties
the long gone People’s Game
when we were kids and working class
we stood through snow and rain
the jostling on the crumbling steps
the wags with instant jokes
it felt inclusive even though
the crowd was mainly blokes
but still we cast our minds back
to when we packed in there
to clap and wave our rattles
within that atmosphere

3 Leave a comment on verse 3 0 no gestures rude or menacing
from crowds that swayed and roared
with passion and excitement
every time we scored
The terraces we squeezed onto
the Bovril and the tea
before the game was marketed
beyond the likes of me
no hint of homophobia
you sometimes get to hear
inside our stadiums today
that loom up tier on tier
and though we long to change it
we sit or stand and stare
as though it’s part and parcel
of football’s atmosphere

4 Leave a comment on verse 4 0 and now it’s all celebrity
the salaries the cars
the mansions and the lifestyles
of football superstars
when football turned into a brand
and something disappeared
the ticket prices went sky high
within that atmosphere

5 Leave a comment on verse 5 0 from Premier League to Russia
from Istanbul to Rome
from grass roots up to Wembley
‘accepting it’ has grown
it’s time for us to speak up
it’s time to make a stand
to make this game inclusive
and welcome for all fans

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Source: http://footballpoets.org/poems/towards-inclusive-atmospheres/