Poems From The Inside -Prisoners on Football

About Parry’s Post..First of all it’s not Parry here!

Many of you point out and ask ‘why is this section empty?’ Fair point. So we are going to use it from now on, as and when. We will use it extensively, for addtional childrens’ and adults’ poems created in workshops, and hopefully with your support and input during the World Cup and similar tournaments.We may also include a ‘poem of the week or month. ‘ We will also endeavour to include themes along the lines of previous ‘ theme-poems’ e.g;’ The new England Manager’ and ‘George Best’ .. so do keep the ideas coming ! It’s actually YOUR site remember.

Basically we have a wonderful, but like many ancient football grounds, antiquated un-changed site. This is I guess largely due to funding and lack of it. We’re all voluntary and we are currently without an active web-master. Dave has looked after the site for 6 years for nothing , bless him, but right now we are looking at all sorts of options re possible funding etc; So bear with us guys. We have our fair share of critics but we’re trying. Editors.

POEMS FROM INSIDE – Prisoners on Football..Wales Oct 05

Back in October 05 ,Crispin and Ted Smith Orr ,the Charlton football poet and charicaturist, who have both worked together at Chelsea and Charlton, were invited to run workshops with prisoners on ‘football and racism’ at two prisons in Wales. We spent an incredible day, and would like to thank Lousie, the prison staff and all the inmates for not only making us so welcome (!) but for getting into it and writing some great stuff. Also to the Governors of the prison for now allowing us to re-print their work here, using initials for the prisoners’ names, a first for the football poets site and football poetry!

Neither of us had ever been into a prison in our lives before (honest guv!) Prisoners in the two Welsh prisons we visited get to watch football on TV, but do not have access to satellite or Sky so they are limited to England and Wales games, MOTD,Champions League and the FA Cup. Do give some of the individual poems a read.The first four are spontaneous group warm-up poems on Football and Racism. We then worked with the prisoners as they wrote their own poems.The last poem is particulary poignant and not about football, in which the author chose to express his remorse in a poem, a reminder of where we all were on the day. Crispin & Ted Smith Orr-25/10/05

Group Poem PRISON 1


Football is a boiling pot
Football is an exciting bore
Football is expensive
Football is trouble
Football is an emotional instigator
Football is the most popular sport in the world

Football is a starship to space that can leave this world behind
Football isn’t as important as life and death..
It’s more important than that
Football is a game with two teams of players

Football is entertaining
Football is one of the most attractive things
Football is a place where war is entertaining
Football keeps you fit and healthy
Football is a game of two halves
Football is great when your home team wins

Football is a business not a game

Group Poem Prison 1

Racism is only perception
Racism is all around us
Racism is a nuisance
Racism is something you learn
Racism is something some people have to live with
Racism is conditioning
Racism leads to violence, gangs and death
Racism is making big problems
But racism is the dumping ground of my mind..
where resentment is from

Racism is a headache
Racism is wrong and belittling
But above all racism is not needed and not wanted

Group 1 /Prison 1 Poem

Football is the beautiful game
Football is the name of the game
Football is played between two sides
Football is competitive and challenging
Football is the reason I live for

Football is my passion
Football is 90 minutes of action
Football is a game of two halves
Football is one ball, two teams, three refs and thousands of fans

Football is spoiled by money
Football is a way of life
Football is people’s life and soul
Football is not as good as rugby!

Group 2 /Prison 2 poem


Racism is a negative vibe
Racism is a way of hurting people’s feelings
Racism is a way of diminishing their cultural pride
Racism is a waste of time

Racism is people’s thoughts and beliefs
Racism is the scourge of society
Racism is another form of discrimination
It is a world-wide issue
And sometimes drawn out of all proportion
Racism is uncool, and although we fight,

Racism will never stop

Group 2 poem/Prison 2


There are always two halves of everything
Like football you have the first half
Where you could be losing and
Nothing is going your way

Then again you do something
To change your luck and
End up winning the game
That’s the end of my two halves


Bad day..
A ‘someone threw a banana on the pitch’, kind of day
Phil Neville signs for Boro – got sent off
A fighting on the terraces, a dog sh** kind of day
A tongue snaps on my boots
A German penalties,
And a Bryan’s gone home and taken his ball kind of day
Today was a broken foot, an own goal
A relegation, a losing kind of day

Today was a bad day

By M

A new boots for Christmas kind of day
Thierry signs for Boro, my first hat trick kind of day
A 1966 World Cup kind of day
Watching Pele, Cryuff, or a Beckham free kick kind of day
A top of the league, winning goal at Wembley kind of day
A save a penalty kind of day
A winning kind of day
Today was a good day

By M

Life can be changed so quickly
The mind can go through so much
From a happy home
To a prison cell
In the blink of an eye
My family’s gone
The prison my home now
A new chapter in my life
Time is now my enemy
In here it goes so slow
No-one wants to know each others secrets
And I don’t want to know

Football, we can always talk about that
The match the night before
Rivalries renewed
Shouting, laughing wanting to know the scores
Mocking, triumph each week changes

When everything else can’t be talked about
Football becomes everything.

By N

Portsmouth is a changing town
With places old and new
The shops, churches, people
And the bustle too.

The newest thing in town
Is a tower so tall and high?
They call it the Spinnaker
Or so they say

The Mary Rose’s anchor
Was lifted from the solent sea bed
My home town is changing
As I lay in my bed

At Fratton Park where Pompey play
Things are not a hitch
For now they have decided
To move around the pitch

Luar Luar is skilful
To see him move around
This is why Pompey
Is a special ground
A lovely place to be…
My home ground


What is colour? Just a word
Black, blue, yellow, green!
I am black not white
But my Mother is white!

I am black, but no-one can see
My white roots under my skin
People see me, but do they see me?

Sometimes I’m sad feeling black
Sometimes I’m happy feeling black
But never sad or happy for my
White roots, them roots that
No-one can see, just me
Just me, just me

What is colour, me, you, others?
Without different colours where would we be?


Racism is insulting the words
Of anger flow, the pain and hurt
It never stops. Will the ignorance go?
It is so barbaric and very immature
You may get your come-uppance
That is so for sure!

By A

By J C and H

What is racism anyway?
Of the colour of your skin
The type of clothes you are in
Where you come from
Where are you going?
Where are you now
What is happening in the world?

Everybody is the same
Everybody and nobody
Is to blame
Black or white
Asian or British
Chinese or Japanese
Pakistani or Turkish
What is it all about?

Blood runs red in us all
Stop racism now!

By J C and H

A prison boy came home one day
To find his true love had gone away
When he asked the reason why
She came up with this reply
If you chose an honest life
Surely I would have been your wife
But you chose the life of crime
So prison boy just do your time
Cowering in his cell no one came
Prison boy laid on the floor with a note on the bottom of his feet
Digging my grave and digging it deep
Plant of red roses at my feet
Draw a dove on my chest to show the world that I died for love

So girls bear in mind
Pprison boys are hard to find

By D

Source: https://footballpoets.org/news/2006/02/27/poems-from-the-inside-prisoners-on-football/