Welcome in July and August …

Firstly – a welcome back to the footy! woo-hoo!
(well, for most of Europe anyway).

In August 2009, we welcomed the following new contributors to this site :

Gordon Farrel
Ian Mole
Stephen Heptinstall
Tony Stapo
Luke Graham

In July 2009, we welcomed the following new contributors to this site :

Henry Milward
Mark Walmsley
Charlie Wise

And we welcome back, a blast from the past :

Samantha Culshaw who last posted in Jun 2006.
Marvin Cheeseman who last posted in Feb 2008.
Tony Kinsella who last posted in Mar 2008.

It was quite obvious we were in the school holiday period!

Click on the names above to see that person’s poem(s), or browse some selected first efforts below :

Just For The Sake Of It

He taught us – to learn slowly
He taught us – to pass
He taught us – to give to receive
He taught us – that scoring, was all in good time
He taught us – to sometimes, concede

Every move that he made we replayed in our dreams
The monochrome magic in yellow and green
His instinctively choreographed goalmouth scenes
To be staged in the park ‘til dark had snuffed out
The teams of lads who would pick and be picked

We learned – to caress the ball a’Brasilia
We learned – that to play was a passion
We learned – to lose, with a smile on our faces
We learned – that style was the fashion
We learned – to move, with the ball and without
We learned – to win with compassion

His football was artful and just for the sake of it
Artisan crafted with none of the fake in it
No word of money no agent held sway
No protestations no walking away
No surrounding the Ref in a throng.
And his opponents’ mantra before every game
Chanted to ward off the spell of his name
“He’s made of skin and bones just like everyone else”
Was wrong. He was made of Pele

© Gordon Farrel 2009

This is a poem about a man (Pele) and a time. The man inspired so many of us at a time when we simply loved the game and the way that it was played; when we knew very little about a footballer’s life away from the pitch, and cared only for getting to the park to play and relive what we had seen or read about. The rythm of the poem tries to replicate his change of pace, sudden stops and turns.

From Start To Finish

Hold my hand he used to say
As we walked to matches far away
We took a bus then a tram
To watch the football in Birmingham

The rosettes, the scarves, the bells
The programme bought that tells
About the stars and this and that
Gave us good reason to have a chat

The throbbing crowd, the right good cheer
The deafening sounds in a young boy’s ear
The joy and passion would never fade
This was indeed our sunny glade

We fell apart, went our different ways
But both could recall these happy days
When we came together near the end
To talk together as a friend

Hold my hand he used to say
So I held his hand as he slipped away

© Charlie Wise

This poem was borne out of my fractious relationship with my father. He brought football into my life mainly through visits to St Andrew’s in the early and mid 1950’s. He gave me my lifelong passion for the game – as a player, coach and spectator.

My parents’ divorce led to our separation that lasted for many years but we came together seven weeks before his death – we shared a few memories, mostly about football where we both felt safe and shared common ground.

The poem was written five days after his death.

Sunderland A.F.C. Sonnet

We had a little general, Bobby Kerr,
And with him in command we won the Cup.
Our team of cut-price heroes caused a stir
And when they raised that cup, they raised us up.
That happy, rainy afternoon in May
I bought a four-pound ticket for six quid.
That one-nil victory took my breath away
With thanks to what my namesake Ian did.
But that was over thirty years ago.
We’ve never hit that kind of height again.
When will we next have silverware to show
To give us all some joy amidst the pain?
We now anticipate and dream ahead.
Let’s hope at season’s end those dreams aren’t dead.

© Ian Mole

For God’s Sake

Let floodlights lift the veil
From this field marked out
Teams lined up to emerge
Locals ready to shout

Bated breath is
Frosted glass, ready to break
With a goal, the crowd call
Shoot for God’s sake

Marking time, slim leads
freeze the clock
And nights wintery edge
Disperses the flock

The brave left implore
Before there’s a mistake
Blow the whistle referee
For God’s sake

© Stephen Heptinstall

This is our year

Excitement and hope we feel every year
Along with waryness and a little fear
We hope to do well, better than before
Challenging for trophies, you know the score

Our history tells us never give up
we’ve seen it all when winning cups
Great comebacks, victories, its what we do best
The liver bird proudly worn on our chest

The proudest record of England we hold
With a backbone of scousers who play so bold
Proudly playing in red and white
On the Anfield turf, what a wonderful sight

So with another season about to start
Lets get behind the boys and give them heart
Beat the mancs (again) and chelsea whip
LIVERPOOL F C for the premiership !!!

© Tony Stapo

the footballers creed

These are my football boots.
There are many like them, but these ones are mine.
My boots are my best friend.
They are my life.
I must master them as I master my life.
My boots, without me, are useless. Without my boots, I am useless.
I must kick the ball true.
I must shoot straighter than any opponent who is shooting against me.

I must score before he scores against me.
I will score….
My boots and I know that what counts in football
are not the chances we have, the noise of our fans, nor the statistics.

We know that it is the goals that count.
We will score…
My boots are human, even as I, because they are my life.
Thus, I will learn them as a brother.
I will learn their weaknesses, their strengths, their parts,
their accessories, their studs and their laces.
I will keep my boots clean and ready, even as I am clean and ready.
We will become part of each other.
We will win…

Before God I swear this creed.
My boots and I are the defenders of my sport.
We are the masters of our opponents.
We are the saviours of my life.

So be it, until victory is ours
and my team are the champions of this Earth!

© luke graham

based on the riflemans code

Ode to the (non-league) away traveller

To the away traveller, for the miles you drive.
To those staunch supporters, whose patience each week is tried
By the road works, diversions, and jams.
By the A14, Lorries, slow coaches, caravans,
But for whom any place can be reached by car,
To those who ask not ‘why?’, but ‘how far?’

To those whose second home is Norton Canes,
And a costly, tasteless tea the only reward for a day spent switching lanes.
Those who drove all night for 90 minutes at Holker Street
And those who offered that one spare seat.
To the country roads of Nailsworth, which ran so thin
To a jubilant journey after a prized away win.

And lest we forget the train travellers; those platform folk
Who spend their journey full of hope
That the 11.28 will depart on time
And there’ll be a ‘Good Service’ on the Northern Line.

To those who’ve arrived five minutes late
And have wondered where in Newark is the North Gate
To those who’ve never seen Harlow’s Mill
And to the fellows who always have time to kill.

From Eastbourne to Mansfield, Crawley to Weymouth,
To those for whom 59,850 miles is still not quite enough.
For the throng who shivered at Moss Lane,
And for those who, at Histon, stood out in the rain.

To those who suggest North Wales for a romantic weekend away
And at the last minute mention, ‘the U’s are at Wrexham, didn’t I say?’
To those who’ve only made it to Grays
Equally to the intrepid few who’ve travelled for days.

Come one, come all, in madness United.
See you on the M6 Toll, everyone’s invited!

© Henry Milward 17 Jul 2009

A poem specifically related to Cambridge United and their away travellers, but you are welcome to change the place names as appropriate. Just there aren’t many places quite like Histon and Crawley.

Sunday Bloody Sunday

Out of bed as late as I dare,
pick up my bag from the kitchen chair
Dash out to the street, sleep in my eyes,
late again, but no surprise
I get to the ground and shabby hut,
the changing rooms all locked up
“How many lads have we got today”?
“Not sure right now we’re playing away”

Off we go, only ten men we’ve got,
our only hope to win, is from the penalty spot
Dried mud on my boots from last weeks game,
unwashed shirts and no one to blame
The ref’ turns up, all whistle and flag,
70 years old, a cough and a fag
What a sight we make as we take our place
fat and hung over, such a disgrace

We pass the ball, in practice we’re good,
superstars, already blathered in mud
The pitch, like a ploughed field but undeterred,
we kick off, tactics unprepared
We scream and shout “give us the ball”
, as we huff and puff, trip, stumble and fall
Ten minutes in, we’ve already had our fill,
as the opposing striker makes it one nil

Our keeper screams, now highly strung,
and the midfielder gasps as he looks for his lung
The forwards cough and gasp for a smoke,
our defenders give chase without any hope
Quick as lightening, the opposing team,
after 35 minutes they’ve scored fourteen
Now down to eight as our side depletes
but we carry on, facing another defeat

Ref’ looks at his watch, the whistle he blew,
a half time sight this sad motley crew
“Come on lads we’re better than this,
if an open goal came I bet we’d still miss”
A plea goes out “learn to pass straight”,
as the captain and Goalie, break into a fight
With bloody nose and black eye,
back onto the field, its do or die.

It’s not going to plan; in fact it’s going to hell,
another five goals, in a 12 minute spell
Now twenty two nil, but we’re not beat yet,
as a miracle happens, a corner we get
The ball is kicked, but wrong direction it soars
, it bullets down-ind, an own goal is scored
Aw! Referee! he tries his best,
up and down he runs in his string vest

All studded and scarred as we try and play,
this stupid game on this stupid day
Remembering back, how fit we where,
when we where young without a care
But refusing to give up our yesterdays,
we carry on in our veteran ways
Lightning speed, and quality flair
are now breathless ‘has-beens’ with clumsy despair

One last attempt, only a minute or two,
we can still come back, “put the ball through”
As the pass is chased, a trip, a fall,
sixteen stone of deadweight nowhere near the ball
A penalty is given, the ref’ must be blind,
but who cares, we’re twenty eight behind
The ball is placed in the wet mud,
by our forty year old striker, who used to be good.

The pitch is silent, the wind blows around,
with baited breath, without a sound
Our striker bounds up with all the grace,
of a drunken late-nighter who fell flat on his face
But, with another effort he connects with his boot,
the power of a snail he begins to shoot
The keeper is rooted, our striker swings hard,
his miscued shot, the ball moves a yard.

The whistle is blown to end the match,
another drubbing, dejected heads we scratch.
If we played better, a win we could sneak
, but never mind, there’s always next week.

© Mark Walmsley 16/07/09

After many years, from primary school to veterens league football I thought I finaly decided (after my last game which saw me as a keeper run out of my area to get to the ball before the oncoming forward. only to swing a lazy leg high and wide, and then watch as the bloke rolled the ball onto the goal line, kneel down and head it in) I would write my own testamonial. This is it

My Manchester City Blues

City are on their way up
I’m sad to confirm this is true:
In a poster depicting just four of their stars
I corrrectly identified two.

© Marvin Cheeseman August 2009

It’s based on the general acknowledgement from Man U fans that these days, one actually knows who City’s players are…

The Football Match

It’s the match now
We’re playing football,
Time to beat the opposition
If you know what I mean.

A cross and a header
It’s one-nil –
Now it’s been kicked
Back across the field,
Tackling the other player
He must yield.

But no – he shoots
And it’s one-one
We’ll have to accept it
Because the whistle has gone.

© Samantha Culshaw

Scotland World Cup Song : Tub Thumping

We’ll be dreaming
That we’re winning
We’ll be dreaming…

We get knocked out
Then we go home again
We always book a return flight
We get knocked out
And shoot off home again
cos Scotland are a shower of a team.

Oh Costa Rica
You have beaten us again

He drinks a whiskey drink
he drinks a whiskey drink
he drinks a whiskey drink
he drinks a whiskey drink
he sings a song that reminds him of the bad times
he sings a song that reminds him of the crap times

Oh Faroe isles
You wipe the smiles
from our faces

We get knocked out
Then we go home again
We always book a return flight
we get knocked out
And shoot off home again
Cos Scotland are a shower of a team.

We’ll be back home
before the postcards
we’ll be back home

© Tony kinsella

A parody of the Chumbawumba song, performed live from time to time by a sassenach double act called the Bootleg Mark Chapmans – and not meant to be taken too seriously!

Source: https://footballpoets.org/news/2009/09/01/welcome-in-july-and-august/