Poems tagged ‘FA Cup’

Hereford in the FA Cup tonight and Ronnie.

Ronnie, how we’ll miss you tonight
Hereford tonight in the FA Cup
The ultimate romantic rendezous
How he’d have adored it all
The Sunday morning papers groaning
Under the weight of praise,
Back page flattery
Millions of kudos
Pouring from the printed archives
Of all our yesterdays
Shirt flapping in muddied acknowledgement
Flapping, flailing arms waving frenetically
Hereford United non-League giant killer
Slaying the arrogant airs of old First Division
Newcastle United beaten fair and square
Joy unconfined, young Hereford loyalists
Barely believing the evidence of their eyes
Look at that,
Who’d have thought it
And yet sadly
Ronnie Radford has died
One of Hereford’s own
And the bleating of sheep
Neighing of horses
In the heart of Herefordshire
Cattle country
Will lower their voices
Significantly tonight
A moment of deference
In the farming lands
Where once the spirit
Of Ronnie Radford still lives on
Pompey and Portsmouth
At Edgar Street tonight
The millions of Hereford
Will still harbour the affectionate
Echoes and images of
1972, and whyever not
50 years ago perhaps
But Ronnie still resides on
On this wondrous, rural
Timeless painting
In palpitating hearts
Ricky George will wipe
Away a brief but profound
Tear of reminiscence
But grandparents will
Still remind
This generation
That giant-killing Hereford
Once brought
Football’s aristocracy
To its knees
Newcastle and Malcolm
Macdonald, black and white
Stripes toppled over in the
FA Cup
We had to blink twice
It did happen
Since Yeovil performed
The same party piece
Just after the Second World
War when high flying
Sunderland were pounced
Upon and flicked away
Disdainfully by the cider
Quaffing Somerset folk
Humble and unassuming, then
Beat the seemingly unbeatable
Sunderland at the time
So the FA Cup is with us again
All dressed in its finest gleaming
Metals and fabrics
The First Round of the Cup
As familiar as Big Ben or the
Tower of London, Buckingham
Palace too,
A cultural necessity
As the nights draw in
And 4.00 in the afternoon
Seems like the midnight- hour
The FA Cup, in all its
Handsome finery
Football’s most
Polished jewellery
Hereford United
Against Pompey
And Portsmouth
Last winners in 2008
In remarkable meeting
Unlikely as it was
At the time against
But Harry Redknapp
Will never question
Achievements great or small
An FA Cup winner
Harry’s day in the sun
Oh well done
My son
Pompey chimes again
As if it were some Post
War song
But tonight, the Cup
Will think of Ronnie
Hereford’s headiest moment
50 years ago
Never forgotten

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Liverpool – FA Cup winners 2022!

Chelsea 0-0 Liverpool
Liverpool win 6-5 on pens

Dogged Trent, Hendo, Mane
Salah hands Jota the wheel
Virgil off, but there’s Matip and Konate
Mentality monsters are real

Both sides do all but score
Relentless Diaz with the tricks
Time runs out on the dance floor
It’s all down to penalty kicks

Is there a more end to end nil nil?
Glory for which German Schnauzer?
Klopp’s pesky Reds so know the drill
It’s Tsimikas the Greek Scouser

Liverpool ain’t finished yet
Could still be four, or three
A season never to forget
And there’s still that trip to Paris

14 05 22

© emdad rahman

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FA Cup merry go round

Ah, the FA Cup inquests
The Fourth Round
Simply exquisite
The giant killers
Were within a blow
Of the referee’s
Agonisingly close
To the greatest
Hammer blow
Of all time
On the anvil of
But then Bowen
Jarred of the claret
And blue vintage
Supped from the
Of the Kidderminster
Cellars where
The maturity of
Yesterday’s wine
Of FA Cup day
Almost came to
West Ham
Through to the
Fifth Round of
The FA Cup
But not before
A momentous
Shock to their
After the carpet
Men laid out
An expensive rug
Once threadbare
But now fit for
Non League
Warriors from
The lower strata
Who almost overcame
But not quite
The upper foothills
Since the harsh
Reality of the Premier
League stole their
Then City sailed
Into the next round
On their handsome
With statesmanship
Almost by royal
Manchester City
A voluptuous sight
Carved from
The finest marble
And clay
Unstoppable against
The Cottagers
Of Fulham who
Tommy Trinder
Once referred to
As you lucky
But yesterday
Fulham shipped
Four of the best
Never mind that
Cottage will become
An industry
In next season’s
Premier League
Marco Silva’s
Craven Cottage
Army will flourish
Then Frank Lampard’s
Resurrected perhaps
From the dank depths
Of Rafa’s gloomiest
Dismissing Brentford
Like a servant
From below stairs
A sharp reprimand
To those West Londoners
Where pubs
Of refuelling
Outside the old
Griffin Park
Who once
Served their finest
Bitters but never
Embittered souls
Newcomers to
The top flight
Welcome to football’s
Glamour parade
Where Thomas Frank’s
Robbed though
Of their
Luton, hatted,
Booted suited
Dump Cambridge
From the Cup
Colleges and cloisters
Universities silenced
Again, the River Cam
Placid, still,
Wembley is sadly
Never on their
Stop Plymouth
Pilgrim’s progress
John Bunyan’s
Classic tale
But not for
Argyle this
Year, regrettably
So, one day
Plymouth almost
Crossed the Bridge
With a lead against
All the odds
But the Blues had
Far too many
To disturb
The giants
Then finally
Deprived of
Any silverware
Woe are they
Since the League
Cup of 2008
Yesterday though
Wearing their
Sweeping aside
Brighton back to
Their seaside
Proms, and
Victorian esplanades
South Coast sanctuary
Of defeat
To Tottenham
In their new
Spacecraft of
A stadium
An architectural
Harry Kane
Of course
The perfect
Scored a stunner
That restored
Smiles to
Fans of
Perfect contentment
And then
Again troubled
Defences as
We knew
He would
Now just
Innocent bystanders
But yesterday
Was FA Cup day
The carousel
Keeps whirling
And West Ham
Sigh with relief.

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The voice of the FA Cup

The voice of the FA Cup
Here it is again
The voice of the FA Cup
Baritone, shrill
Perhaps, resonant
As the tinkle
Of that long ago
Rossi ice cream van
That once sated
Our children’s
Tea time appetites
But the FA Cup
In all of its multi
Flavoured layers
Cuts across the
Classes, from factory
Floor to high tech
Office in the city
Football still has
A soft spot
For the muddied
Heroes of Hereford
Now exactly
50 years ago
When Ronny
Radford and
Ricky George
In a sudden ambush
On Geordie pride
Newcastle crushed
And trodden on
The Fourth Round
Holds another
Treasure trove
Of images,
Headline makers
Glory seekers,
Diamonds of hope
Gingerly and neatly
Edging a step
Closer to that
Elusive date
In May,
That magical
Page in our
Minds, inscribed
For posterity
Climbing the steps
To lift the FA Cup
Perhaps for the
First time
Or maybe again
This year
Harriers are
Hoping to be
The carpetbaggers
Who steal the limelight
Against the bravura
Thames Ironworks
In another age of
Industrial might
Against your claret
And blue warriors
Surely not Kidderminster
The carpet men, will
Hand out
A carpeting to
Their foppish London
Aristocrats who trip
The East End light
Fantastic in
Premier League
Gentlemen’s clubs
Where the Garrick
Cigar elite
Quietly shuffle
The Times
But the FA Cup
Will land on our
Through murky
Early evening light
Floodlights ready
To meet the darkness
Of four in the afternoon
February gala
Where inquisitive souls
Seek solutions
To the riddles
Of the day
Such as
The winners of the
First FA Cup
Insignificant perhaps
In the bigger picture
For today is the day
When the Cup
Brings everybody
Together, over
Hedges, distant forests
And hundreds of miles
Of clogged
Coaches ablaze with scarves,
Rosettes again
Marching over
The electricity pylons
Man United, Liverpool,
Chelsea, Spurs, Leicester
Oh and don’t forget
Boreham Wood
From Hertfordshire
Non- League
In smartest
Always humble
Never ever
Likely to take
Anything for
Just delighted
To be among
Those who
Were accustomed
To the Wembley
Way and
Who made frequent
Pilgrimages to the
Shrine of the
Spiritual home
Best wishes to the
Dreamers, the idealists,
The wishful thinkers
Once Chesterfield and
Plymouth were one
Match away
From the
Ultimate engagement
Of the FA Cup Final
The patricians and magicians
Will shake hands for the cameras
And swop
Pennants of their glorious
Day in the sun
The FA Cup it never
Fails to enchant
Again and again.

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The FA Cup Giantkillers & The Hammers

The Fourth Round
Of the FA Cup,
A revelation of
Epic proportions
Perhaps an apparition
Possibly a figment
Of our imagination
But then credible
Viable, anything
That could happen
Did that was unexpected
Once again the embodiment
Of our aspirations, dreams
The third round achieved
The impossible when
Somehow, it seemed
Mind- blowingly inconceivable
Cambridge the university city
Presented us with footballing
Dons and undergraduates
And the river Cam flowed
With the sweetest selection
Of fruit and fondant fancies
But over the weekend
Cambridge stole the limelight
Like burglars on light feet
Sneaking through yawning
Windows, grabbing the prolific
Booty, scoring the only goal
At St James Park, where
Newcastle have been gritting
Their teeth since 1955
For anything resembling success
Oh the crying shame
Never mind Newcastle
Surely not Hereford again
When 1972 seemed a horrendous
Scar on their top flight
Their day has to arrive
Sooner rather than later
For Gallowgate pride
Hearts still
Pounding away
There will always be
Next year
But Cambridge broke
Boundaries, disobeyed
The command of
Treading the black and white
Stripes into the lush green
Grass of the Geordie
Revolution, now delayed
Since the wealth of rich
Saudi money will speak
The language of football’s
Vernacular or the syntax,
Words, verbs and pronouns
That seem fitting the Newcastle
Way, a template of survival
From near- certain relegation
That obvious
Blueprint, the policy of success
Only the Premier League will do
But first things first
Cambridge gave us a man
Called Ironside and he turned
On a sixpence or perhaps a
shilling. Oh it could have been
A tanner but far too long ago
Now the fiver and
Shiny quid
Coin has tarnished the
Varnish of Eddie Howe’s
Newcastle roller coaster
But a goal nonetheless
That stimulated the senses
Of the Cambridge
Footlights and now
The comedy of any age
But still within the cloisters
While erudite students
Of the Beautiful Game
The splendour and beauty
That is etched into the game’s
Historic manifesto
Of the Abbey Stadium’s
Archive of fantasy now
So to Boreham Wood
And Kidderminster Harriers
Also leading actors on fourth
Round night
Now Kidderminster once
Again meet
In the second instalment
Of the FA Cup’s chapter
And verse. When
Back in the hotbed of the
1990s there was another
Cultural collision with
The West Ham art class
With its fingerprints
Of pedigree and
Stature firmly in place
But only a goal
From Lee Chapman
Salvaged the Hammers
Blushes and then yet
More tales
And stirring stories
Of giant killing
Embarrassed in claret
And blue
But not for the
First time
And then Boreham
Wood, sounding
Quaint and rural
But never tedious
Hertforshire’s finest
But non League’s
Ambassadors and flag
Bearers, representatives
of the game’s pulsing
Grassroots, standards
Of decency
Through to the fourth
Round of the FA Cup
Oh delicious nectar
Flights of fancy
And surely never
Among the favourites
To win the old trophy
But hope still springs eternal
Surely not in 2022
Wembley’s honoured
Day of days
At Wembley in May
But Boreham Wood
Are the FA Cup’s
Level playing ground
Just for a while
But no longer
When the fifth
Round beckons
With teasing fingers
The bigger fishes
Will prosper the
Pampered professionals
Who once travelled with
Us on our bus
But now speed past
Us in limousines or
Luxurious sports cars
As if oblivious of the
Class divide
But Boreham Wood,
Kidderminster Harriers
And Cambridge United
Our glamorous personification
Of how the Cup used to be
And still is
No longer Tom Finney
Cigarette cards, nor the
Devious shuffle
And poetry of Sir
Stanley Matthews
Blackpool’s Tower
Of ballroom feet
But the Hammers
Will arrive in Kidderminster
Again, freshly scrubbed
Ready to go
Prepared for their fate
On the day
If only you could
Bottle the FA Cup’s
Intoxicating brews
Of suspended belief
Then, that sumptuous
Day in the middle of
May at the seaon’s end
When trophies are delivered
When the cinnamon flavours
Of the FA Cup Final again.

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FA Cup second round again

Ah there goes the clarion call again
The FA Cup juggernaut shudders into
Vibrant life, the supermarket workers and milkmen
Stirred by the morning call of the FA
Cup charabanc of old, rusting coaches
Their precious day in the limelight
Both Yeovil who have had previous
dalliances with the FA Cup
Are back in the third round, again
Cider and scrumpy first orders night
Toasting Somerset’s finest with glasses
of foaming fuel of alcoholic heaven
And Morecambe as well, if only Eric
Knew of how his team had fared
But Eric followed Luton, but then
His hometown Morecambe
Toppled Buxton, whose
Purest waters are now no longer
Flowing through the streams of our
Lives but Morecambe are through
To the third round
Oh the FA Cup and its level
playing ground, its sense of
Equality where the part timers
Of humble stations in life
Just to feel the distant scent
Of Wembley in their breaths
Then the labourers, the builders,
The hod carriers with muscles
Like boulders carry the burden
Of those little market towns
Where the unknown teams
From the highest mountain tops
Trundle out of the tunnel, dim
Lights from swaying trees
Then the fragile floodlights
Increase their hold and power
On the FA Cup
Their day in the infant days of
Winter when the gusts and gales
Of the teasing, capricious Cup
Glories of the FA Cup second
Round, blow playfully, so close to the back pages
Of history tomorrow
Giant killers, teams from way
Out in Middle England or
Close to suburbia threaten
The bigger boys in the playground
Yeovil against Manchester City
It surely will never happen at the
The third round rendezvous
Where the interlopers and
The modestly ambitious yell
From the highest steeples
Hoping that David
Will slay Goliath and
The world will keep
Oh, the FA Cup

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To FA Cup Glory

FA Cup first round day
Ah, tis the start of the
Meandering, winding journey
To FA Cup glory
Along the rutted paths
The tangle of the orange leaves
Chasing hectically
Darting through the hedgerows
Football at its finest local parklands
FA Cup first round day
The meat and gristle of its
Bone and sinew
Hearty feast and lunchtime
Fiesta, the FA Cup
It should have its own
National Anthem
When the supermarket
Trolley workers
Postmen and milkmen
Down their tools
The long distance lorry
Drivers dream of Manchester
City, United, Spurs, Chelsea
And Arsenal on the glamorous
Infant days of the third round
When the muck and bullets of
The first round of today are
That first corner swung
Over with deceptive ease
And we remember Hereford,
Yeovil, Sunderland in 1973
Porterfield trapping the ball
On that reliable thigh and
Leaving Leeds on Cup Final
Day with nothing but
Humiliation for tea
But today is FA Cup first round
Day. The foundation stone,
The first brick, the first layer
Of cement, where the FA Cup
was born.
Where the part timers
And the amateur
Dare with brass neck
Impudence to upset
The higher proletariat
Where Buxton FC
And Sudbury trod
On hallowed green
There was Canvey
Island, once who
Could hardly believe
That they were TV
Rows of terraced houses
Threaded together
Like grandma’s tea cosies
That settled like the Cup
Souvenirs that were six pence
And a shilling
And fire engines could
Be seen, cheering from afar
Still the FA Cup once again
The genesis of the season
Crank up the engines
For winter is upon us
Gloves pounding on the
Terraces. Fans clinging
Thrillingly to trees
Bobble hats at Northampton
Town, the raw chill of the first
Round of the day
The mystery of the unknown
Meat pie in one hand
Wembley on our minds
We’ll always remember this
Day for we were there once
When giant killing was the norm
And today is the day it all began
Faded history but very much now.

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Bird in Hand

Bird in Hand

The FA Cup 1939 – 2008

We drink in the presence of greatness.
A glorious bird of paradise
that fills the room with life.
Wanderers to Portsmouth all roads between,
a coach trip ride through hedge-screened fields.

This monochrome world that we engraved
as so many lives were sliding past.
Waiting for the blackout to end,
as if nothing we did really mattered,
as if watching was all that there was.

So we taped up all the windows,
made do with any small victory,
turned out the lights and kept quiet.
As the radio spat static and crackled,
keeping our hopes in the dark.

And here we are only nine months on,
a country pub where they kept it safe
for five lost years as the city burned,
payloads emptied on a scrap of earth.
Abide with me all flags at half mast.

Abide with me and a sea of blue.
Wembley stadium and Kanu scores,
forty-something men so close to tears,
my daughters and I in our Pompey shirts.
The final whistle on a perfect day.

And here we are on the journey home,
brilliant colours will fade to none,
as the flags we carry are furled away.
Like Tommy Rowe at ninety-two
leaving all thoughts in the dark.

So drink to the presence of greatness,
for everything you do really matters.
Enjoy all of your victories.
Turn on the lights and sing out,
for living is all that there is.

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19/05/2018: A Hat-trick of Harry’s!

I’m pacing the floor
cos I don’t know the score
and I’m trying to avoid
how they deployed
I’ve turned off my phone
with its certain ringtone *

and all because….

It’s FA Cup Final day
and my team are on the red carpet….

yet – I’m not there

mitigation 1 : I’m overseas
mitigation 2 : couldn’t get a ticket

and even if I did
I’d be on a sticky wicket
‘cos I’m in a household full of exams
and I function primarily
as Dad’s taxi
(so for once, I feel full-on wanted and required –
won’t be long before that feeling’s expired!)

But there’s more…
I didn’t watch it live!….
I didn’t connive
to be “dahn de pub, wiv mates”
enjoying debates
of who’s deserving of admiration
or who should be hooked
before they’re booked
or overcooked….

I went hiking
‘cos I’m liking
that my battered ol’ bod
can still function up and down
through Irish bog and trail
and though twist and turn might fail
hill walking
can have me chalking
17km –
that’s maybe more than those on Wembley’s hallowed turf?
Who knows?
I didn’t even surf
the net
to find out who or when
Reds or Blues.
Quick change of shoes –
but still, even tho’ I could’ve
and should’ve
I bypassed Wembley’s tremblies
and shuttled out to another real live match


not even soccer…..
footy yes
but a different code
of Irish abode
and my local club **
by exam fever
still pulled the lever
and revved
ahead by a few points
only to be pulled back
to an honourable draw

at this point in time
Wembley was probably empty
and so home I traipsed
and still
no catching up with the recording….
Graham Norton
Mrs Brown’s Boys…..
all noise
of my wife’s choosing
and I’ve seriously no knowledge
of winning or losing
under what is: the longest single span roof structure in the world….

which ribbons were unfurled?
I’m still none the wiser
holding out
for my boy to join me ***
to watch
and cower together
as Chelsea hopefully go hell for leather….

and then it dawns…

he probably already knows
as he’s in front of Ed Sheeran
and the Knorr-folk strummer
has probably broadcast out to the crowd
as to whether Red or Blue triumphed…
and I’m laughing, ‘cos
I’m venting this
this toad of an ode
on a piece of random paper
that details the caper
of how to get
to Ed’s zedfest –
a map of the park
where he’ll finish in the dark…

and that is exactly where I am!
even as I write
and yes
this must be the most sh…
match report

but do I win kudos
for not having to resort….

to that


Match of the Day?!?!? ****

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Ray Wilkins 1956 – 2018

At the tender age of eighteen
Stamford Bridge he made his mark
The boy did ‘dangerously well’
A class act on and off the park

Deft touches and radar passes
Is how we’ll celebrate Ray
That lob and chip against Belgique
Elegant and masterful play

An FA Cup final curler
Ray rocked the mic at Wembley
He valued the small people
The cleaner, the fan, the trainee

Old Firm stunner for that Ibrox hero
Today he’d be England’s Pirlo
Leggenda Rossonera
Ciao Ray from the San Siro

©emdad rahman

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Source: https://footballpoets.org/news/poem-tags/fa-cup/page/2/