Poetry Archives

This archive contains every poem that has been published on Football Poets. They are listed ten-per-page in reverse chronological order so the most recent poems appear first. Click or tap the arrows in the corners of the page to navigate between pages. It's easier to use the search form below to find a specific poem.

Premier League again

It’s the Premier League again
After a fortnight in cold storage
Weary and frayed around the edges
But still in the rudest health
Doctors give it the all clear
Put the stethoscope away
All is tickety-boo
Right as rain
Go it for football
At lunchtime
Those noisy North London neighbours
Arsenal and Spurs
Renew acquaintance
For the umpteenth time
Same record, same classic
Piece of vinyl, that timeless
Track from the iconic album
Hypnotic beat, London calling
Across the land, clear the decks
For red meat and passionate
Intensity, no love lost here
Arsenal in the land of invincibility
Mesmerising in the extreme
One touch, two touch, passes
Strung together in colourful beads
Occasionally reminding you of City
At their most unbeatable
A force of nature
Perfection on a plate
For luncheon repast
A most satisfying antidote
To the UEFA Nations League
We’ll have seconds, please
Then the Cherries of Bournemouth
Find the honeyed Bees of Brentford
Sheer nectar and ambrosia
Palace await Chelsea
Second London derby
An abundance of capital
Where capitalism finds
Its spiritual home
Chelsea loaded with well endowed
Riches and Palace perhaps
Mourning the loss of Her Majesty
Who pinned her colours to Arsenal
Down at the Cottage
The industry of Fulham
Hatch and plan victory
But the thatched roofs
May belong to country retreats
Fulham meet Newcastle
Newcastle, white and black and white
Stripes. In the mind’s eye
Football’s zebras on the plain
Guarding their territory
Wandering, then gazing
Critically, calm, but
Ready for confrontation
At the Cottage
Then Liverpool, Klopp’s
Heavy metal monsters
Excavating memories of Shanks
Rippling through the mirrors
Of the past, a shimmering artwork
Then Bob Paisley sighing admiringly
From the heavenly terraces where
The Kop sung their weekly hymns
In affectionate homage to their
Beloved greats, parishioners in red
Robes all in one note, accord
Never walking alone, a concert of
Well-oiled throats
Brighton are the visitors to that
Topical venue of
Labour party busybodies
Trading promises and platitudes
We’ve heard it all before
Politics and football
Just incompatible, they simply
Don’t work, but then sodium
Met potassium,
It could be an explosive thriller
Brighton flying at the moment
At altitudes of the highest
Footballing plateau
Liverpool against Brighton
Sea gulls in bracing winds
Undeterred by Liverpool’s
Trophy- laden cabinets
Bulging at the seams
A meeting of great minds
Finally, the Saints of Southampton
Worshipping in St Mary’s pews
Neither here nor there
Hanging on by the fingertips
West Ham against Wolves
Personal recollections
Of the 1970s when jeans
Were flares and shoes
On platforms at East Ham
Waiting patiently for
Five of the best for claret
And blue tendencies
Paddon, Jennings, Robson
Brooking and all
Oh, the Premier League
How we’ve missed you so

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Forest not Greener for Rob

Graham Taylor rolls in his Vicarage grave
As he hears how Watford sinned.
Elton puts his head in hands
And sings Candle in the Wind.

The International football break
They now call the Watford Gap
The time it takes to fire the coach
And another one to tap.

Rob Edwards he left Forest Green
To Watford he did go
He thought the Forest would be Greener
How little did he know.
Ten games into the season
From the playoffs one point back
The bozo Pozzos did decide
To give poor Rob the sack.

They say in New York City
You’re ten feet from a rat or roach
And in other places in the world
You’re near a former Watford coach

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Germany again

Germany again

It was always Germany
Following us, haunting us
Either our nemesis or
Just bold, visible,
In front of us, stalking
Our corridors
A pain, impediment,
Just a confounded nuisance
If it wasn’t 1966 and Sir Geoff
Four years later it was the West
Germans again
When Bobby was arrested
For pinching jewellery
And Sir Alf had a rush of blood
To the head and mind
In the tropical, baking heat
Of Mexico City
Then two years later
The fated evening at Wembley
When the West Germans ripped
Opened their birthday presents
While Gunter Netzer and the
Kaiser Beckenbauer reigned
In perfect football monarchy
In the Euro carnival where
England’s world was turned
Upside down on its head
England beaten this time
At Wembley by the West German
Advance on all fronts
Yet last night at Wembley
A six- goal humdinger
To satisfy the connoisseurs
The puritans and moralists
The ones who thrive on goals
In whatever form, shape and design
But England still relegated,
Demoted to the mediocre classes
While the Germans exact
A morsel of revenge
For Euro 2020
Crumbs of comfort
Leave the crusts in
The bread bin
We’ll eat those later
The Germans draw first blood
Through City’s Gundogan’s penalty
Oh no, Not another night like the
One in 1972
Then Chelsea’s Havertz
Adds salt to England’s
Festering wound
Double your money
Game seems shot and gone
Hurtling towards the empty
Wilderness among a forest
Of desolate English shirts
But then Luke Shaw
He it was who opened the
Scoring in the Italy Euro
2020 Final
Dragged his countrymen
Back onto flagging feet
This is the point
The height of excitement
Of bathos and pathos
Hold your breath
Mason Mount
Steers the ball magically
Home for parity
The second equaliser
How about that then?
Then our loyal citizen
Kane, Harry cracks
Home a penalty
With a decorative flourish
Game on, winner perhaps
But then the Germans,
Never beaten, undaunted,
Move their pawns, bishops
Kings and queens
Effortlessly through the
English defence
And Chelsea’s Harvitz
Thrusts his sword
With little in the way
Of medieval chivalry
Take that, England
3-3 in one of the great
International duels
Rivals but old allies
Friends but the fires
Of antagonism still burn
English hospitality
German efficiency
Set in stone
It’s only a UEFA Nations League
Who cares?
Some of us wonder
England though still down
But far from out

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Football’s crazy, lazy days

Football’s crazy, lazy days
Always every day
Beside the bay
Next to farmlands and hay
Saturday, Sunday, Monday
Every day
Lunchtime, breakfast, tea
With defences all at sea
As proud Jews
There are never queues
Happy and Healthy New Year to all.

This is your test piece, Crispin

Seems all right, mate.

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Football Questions without an Answer

Was Banks as good as Jennings?
Was Ball as good as Bell?
Was Ray Clemence as good as Shilton?
Was Matt or Channon the King of the Dell?
Was Greavsie better than Denis Law?
Was Osgood better than Hurst?
Would Lorimer kick harder than Charlton?
Would Jim Baxter match Georgie Best’s thirst?

Was Norman much harder than Nobby?
Was Chopper much harder than Vinny?
Was Willie Henderson more gifted than Johnstone?
Was Matthews more gifted than Finney?
Was Ronaldo as brilliant as Messi?
Was Eusebio as brilliant as Cruyff?
Was Maradona as brilliant as Pele?
Or as Davie Duncan who played for East Fife?

Was Lampard as good as Steve Gerrard?
Was Rodney as good as Stan Bowles?
Was Owen as good as Rob Fowler
When it came to scoring the goals?
Was Lineker better than Rushie
When it came to finding the net?
Was Merson better than Gillespie
When it came to placing a bet?
Was Rooney better than Gazza?
Was Hoddle better than Waddle?
Was Worthington better than Beckham
When it came to pulling a model?

Are Celtic better than Rangers?
Are Barca ahead of Madrid?
Are City ahead of United?
And was Summerbee better than Kidd?

Was Sir Matt on par with Sir Alex?
Was Shankly on par with Jock Stein?
Was Cloughie on par with Don Revie?
Was Bryan Robson better than Keane?

So we’ll all disagree down the local
And put our own views on the Net
Check our friend Mister Google for an answer
And challenge our friends to a bet.
But unfortunately, there’s no correct answer
You might as well – just pick a name
Cos we all have our own strong opinions
Of the greats who played this old game.

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England beaten again in Italy.

England relegated from the UEFA
Nations League,
Oh what stuff and nonsense
An utterly preposterous notion
Idiotic gibberish and drivel
But beaten in the San Siro
That legendary bastion of
Neapolitan dreams
Now ready for the knacker’s yard
Ripe for demolition
Blasted into the ancient
Antiquated past
Italy rub salt into English wounds
After Euro 2020 Final dreadful
Debacle. How dare history
Repeat itself so soon after
The Wembley anti climax
Juddering and shuddering
But last night it all
Unravelled again
Like the fragile cotton reel
Not long now until
Saudi World Cup
Winter mysteries explored
Plots thickening rapidly
England now in the
Slough of despond
A slump, defeated
By just a goal but
Heads are dropping
Body language obvious
Gareth Southgate
A worried and careworn man
Like the man who may have
Lost his valuable credit card
And substantial wage packet
Clapping but sallow faced
Beard bristling with concern
England, poor, listless,
Going nowhere
Drained of Euro 2020 passion
Flabby, grubby, dishevelled
Rather like the men who
Forget their morning shave
Dier, Rice, Bellingham,
Citizen Harry Kane,
Sterling and Saka
Like stranded men
On an idyllic desert island
Moving but not really
Connecting, off the pace
Still trying to find
Their co-ordinates
Harmonies in attack
Out of tune and
Distinctly off key
Italy, not visitors
To this World Cup
Once privileged guests
At this high society
Gathering of wits and
Footballing intellects
We’ll miss the
Hot headed fires of
Petulance, arguments
With referees,
The finger pointing
And hysterical histrionics
The butter wouldn’t melt
In their mouth
The shock and wonderment
At perfectly legal goals
Offside simply not in
Their specific rule book
Memories of Rivera, Pirlo,
Zoff, the maestro Tardelli
And the master Maldini
Rocks and walls
At the heart of the Italian
Golden age
Then Rossi and Begetta,
Who once ruled
Over the trattorias,
Piazzas and pizza
Parlours of those
Timeless cultural
Melting pots
Where huge families
Still enjoy the alfresco
Company of each
Washed down with
Endless bottles of Chianti
and Asti, then
Football in Azzuri tones
The land of Serie A
Last night Raspadori
Jinked, darted, checked
Shifted quickly
Back inside Kyle Walker
Before rifling home
The winner of winners
A beauty, yet more
Pearls of wisdom
Now for Germany
Once again
A year ago when
Teutonic thoroughness
Was rumbled, caught
Red handed
Oh for another 1966
A longing for repetition
Just for a while tomorrow
Since the cavalry charge
Of the Premier League
Rears its lucrative head
Next week, egos bruised
And scarred, projects
And ambitions restored
Players diving like early
Evening swallows in orange
Sunsets, penalty areas alive
With dishonourable intentions
Players still equipped with
Tricks up their sleeve
That’s offside by a toe- nail
Or an arm pit, the length of
A strand of hair
Players pulling the wool
Over our eyes
Loaded with simulation
And duplicity
Getting away with it
Football in Italy
And England
A lavish meal
For two

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The Hutch

‘Who’s the greatest ever player
to have worn the sky blue ? ‘
that’s a really tough question
as I can name quite a few.
But,if I have to say just one
who is better than the rest,
as he oozed class and style
and for me he is the best.
That footballer is Tommy Hutchison
signed from Blackpool in 1972,
he was a wizard on the wing
there was nothing he couldn’t do.
Defenders would have to kick him
many would cut up rough,
but the ‘ Hutch’ took it all in his stride
as he was strong, wiry, and tough.
He had brilliant close ball control
it appeared it was stuck to his feet,
his mazy runs were magical
they’d get you up out of your seat.
And he scored a goal against Arsenal
one of the best ever seen at Highbury,
he netted with a sublime strike
after beating players one,two,and three.
So for me it has to be the ‘ Hutch ‘
what more is for me to say ?
he is a Coventry City legend
the greatest I’ve ever seen play.

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Oh woe on Merseyside

Not quite the apocalypse
But seven games into the season
And claret and blue
Bubbles are bursting in
Pastel shades of profusion
Gloom and doom
Merchants are growing
Moodily cynical
In East End cafe
Discussion groups
At the highest level
Writing not quite on the
Wall for West Ham
But the graffiti is
Simply grotesque
Defeat on Merseyside
Against one of their favourite
Sons, Lampard
Gloating from within
Still harbouring grudges
When rejection at his
Hometown club felt
Like the end of his world
Then Chelsea brought
Him back to back
Premier League titles
Everton, back on Goodison
Good terms, first three points
And West Ham falling into dark
Pits and fiery furnaces of hellish
Form. Nothing but greyness
Seeping into every pore of
Their football
Sackcloth and ashes
Piteous, pitiful, almost
But not quite
So what about the Three Musketeers
Who warmed the bench
Scamacca, Cornet and Benrahma
Primed and poised to strike
Like cobras in the undergrowth
The rattlesnake hissing
With lethal intent
Then suddenly
The vultures and vampires
Hover over Stratford
Relegation surely unthinkable
But we’ve been here before
More goals in Europe
Than the autumnal domestic
Hearth at the London Stadium
Just flickering flames rather than
Fire and brimstone
In the East End inner sanctum
Poison in the air
The natives are restless
For David Moyes
More of this fiasco
And P45s will beckon
For the genial Scot
Five defeats by the odd
Goal or so
Relentless misery
Maupay scores a cracker
Of a winner at the once
Wealthy landowners
Of Everton
But then showbiz
Impresario Bill Kenwright
Brings a gloss and sheen
To Goodison,
Who once witnessed
North Korea stunning the
World in the World
Cup of 1966
With their frills
And festivities against
But latterly Everton
Have been architects
Of their downfall
Slumping, struggling, shrugging
Their shoulders
Arrogantly, disdainfully
The rest of the Premier
League was somehow
Beneath them, a degrading
Sight for sore eyes
Bournemouth, Brighton,
Fulham totally undeserving
Of the Toffees respect
Mere feathers in the wind
How dare they share
The same platform as Everton
But the side from the other
Side of Stanley Park
Are back on the big screen
While West Ham nurse
Their hangovers, sore
Bewilderment for Sunday
Tea, the Hammers devouring
Their customary pie and mash
With bleak faces to the world
Four points but seemingly leaderless
Rudderless, no brakes, faulty gears,
Empty tanks of petrol and diesel
The hard shoulder now the cold shoulder
Stuck in the sticky, mud caked quagmire
Low in intensity, little appetite or stomach
For the fight,
Thankfully the international break
Looms again
Major refurbishment, structural tweaks,
Needed urgently before
Worst case scenarios
Tighten the bolts, adjustments to
The collective moods and mannerisms
West Ham lost in a world of their own
Buried heads of introspection
Where to go, not that road
Off that roundabout
Ever increasing circles
Of yet more doubt,
Step up to the plate
Soucek, Benrahma and Paqueta
Before birthday boy Bonzo
From Hammers yesteryear
Blasts ear drums with meaty
Reprimands, juicy expletives
Invectives to strip off paint
In Upton Park dressing rooms
Billy Bonds would have demanded
Blood, sweat and tears
Now hungry Wolves
Await the Thames Ironworks
In a fortnight
Time for East End stevedores
To roll up their sleeves.
Hammers, saws, chisels
At the ready, while
The muscular Christianity
Of docklands
Remind you of the early
Days of Syd King and Charlie
Paynter when men in proud
Waistcoats and caps
Gathered in pools of delight
If only our claret and blue
Yeomen could summon
That robustness of spirit
From way back when
They were young and
So were we
West Ham neither good
Or bad, simply just
Sinking deep into predictable
Relegation quicksand
But now that autumn
Is among us
Greeting new carpets
Of brown and yellow
On the ground
Wolves will be howling
In the London Stadium
A fortnight from now
Where once Olympians
Plied their legendary trade

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We Feel Fine

The modern manager with vicuna and veneers
Laser vision 20/20 style
Monster mentality gegen pressing guile
But recognises
That this community
Is still all for one and one for all
Whether Homebaked friendship or foodbank help
It’s called Solidarity
Looking after our own
None walk alone
And keeping well out of the s*n
Boss in our boot room cavern
We feel fine
Aye, we feel fine.

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Has anybody spared a thought?

It’s time to spare a thought
For the good, old fashioned
Cross bars and posts
Of all our present, past
And future
Football’s striking reference
Points, match after match
There through the vagaries
Of all weathers
Trembling with trepidation
As volleys from half -way
Leave dramatic repercussions
On pulses and blood pressures
Traumatised by the after -effects
Hours after the final whistle
Shaking with fear
In desperate need of counselling
Goalposts in silent solitude
Crying out for company
When fixtures have come
And gone through
The nine month grind
And gristle, the gruesome
Ordeal of win, lose and draw
But then out on a limb
Now that summer
Leaves them in heartbreaking
Isolation, in danger
Of complete alienation
Spare a thought then for those
Jolly old goal posts
White as the sheets
That once flapped in
Helplessly in the optimistic
Breezes, but always beautiful
When half time beckoned
Still standing guard for
Weeks and months
On end
Then there are the crossbars
And nets shivering nervously
In case their summer idyll
Is broken by a thunderbolt
From outside the 18 yard
When winter reduces
Them to anxious stares
Of yet more billowing
And blustering
Theatrical sighs and
Gasps of delight
As the penalty
Sends a thunderous note
Of severity and brutality
Down the decades
Our dear downtrodden
Crossbars of our youth
It was the cross bar
We remembered that
Almost denied England
Their only World Cup
And yet sympathetic
It was to our collective
Throats and voices
Sir Geoff though secures
His hat-trick on his
Day, our July afternoon
And yet how the cross bar
Almost left us in a
State of tremulous tumult
So let’s just stop
To consider a while
The fates that befell
Our Saturday heroes
For these are the posts
And bars
Deserted by football’s
Faithful fans,
Through the seasonal calls
Cold shouldered and
Ignored during days
Of labour, sweat and toil
Suddenly though
Weekly devotees return
To the scene of
Last week’s disagreement
Settling old scores again
But then re- united
Those wondrous goal
Posts and cross bars
A hindrance at times
But then the source
Of relief, but then
In football’s present
Day of
Premier League
No longer those lonely
Sentries on guard who stood
By considerate terraces
With hearts of gold
Full of warmth and tender care
Fear not you’ll never be alone
So let’s hear it for cross
Bars, and goal posts
Those anguished nets and
Solitary stanchions
Before 22 men
Return again

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