He’s played Glastonbury. He’s taken to the stage at the South Bank and he’s appeared at Womad and Cheltenham Festival of Literature. Crispin has done the lot, apart from the big one: Stamford Bridge. That’s the gig the performance poet craves the most.

“It would be daunting” he says. “But I’m hoping to do it one day. Reading out poetry right in the centre circle before kick off or at half time, with 40,000 people there. I like the idea of it spilling out of a crackly tannoy. Or I’d take a megaphone. I like megaphones.”

The qwerty-something Chelsea (and Forest Green Rovers) fan is part of Stroud’s stanza squad, the United Rhymers, who – last time anyone checked – form the only known collective of football poets in the world.

“They are funny words to put together, football and poetry,” concedes Crispin, “but I’d always written poetry and I’d always loved football, so it seemed natural. We just want to make people smile and make people think. It’s football culture. We remind people that football fans are not a bunch of racist yobbos. We’re all kinds of people. There is poetry in everything, and what we do is not that different from the way fans make up chants on the spot. Football is a fantastic outlet. It’s a release. And writing about it is a release too.”

From Blokes with Balls by Jeremy Clay, New Holland Publishers.

‘INNER GOAL The poetry of football…a journey in rhyme’ by Crispin Thomas. Paperback £8.99


From rattles and rosettes to women’s football and the trenches, fantasy salaries and racism to mobile phones for goalposts. Spanning fifty years of watching and ten years of writing , Inner Goal is an affectionate and perceptive nod to the People’s Game in verse. A long-overdue hard-copy debut from football’s maverick performance poet featuring 75 poignant poems, 65 heart-warming haikus and charming hand-drawn illustrations from the author.


1b INNER GOAL FRONT COVER    Footbal Poems here blackboard  2016 crispin shed slippers cropBlokes with Balls


Poems by Crispin Thomas

Source: http://footballpoets.org/poets/crispin-thomas/