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1966 and all that

1 Leave a comment on verse 1 0 You must have
Been there
In 1966
When England
Saluted
Its finest men
Yeomen of the
Guard.
Red was the
Colour
Patriotic
To the bone
England, our
England in
Our homes,
World Cup
In their hands
But essentially
This momentous
Day, when Bobby
Was as blond,
Graceful and grateful
As we were in victory
Despite the dramas
And melodramas
But quite certainly
England had won
The World Cup,
When we were
Children of nature
Maybe once
In a lifetime
But it will
Happen,
Again
Quite emphatically
A reprise and repeat
Of circumstances and
Events, poised to
Break into our
World,
Those simple gestures
Of spontaneous
Laps of honour,
Dancing to the
Rhythmic beat
Of the Sixties
Wembley alive
And chic, with
Bobby of Barking
West Ham to
His head, shoulders,
Knees, toes and
Boots of hardy
Wear and tear
Genetically so
Smooth as
Butter,
Composure for
Breakfast, tea
And supper
Then Nobby, teeth
Of impudent charm,
Jigging for joy
Since the 3.20 at
Sandown had also
Won to make him
Fulfilled, satisfied
As well as Wembley
1966,
Then there was Sir Martin
Peters, suave as a City
Gent with pin-stripe
Suit in stockbroker
Mode,
Sir Geoff Hurst
Menacing as Denis
But gloriously aware
A genius in cloaks of
Claret and blue
Then, for country
His allegiance to
National duty
In extra- time
Of the afternoon’s
Importance, hat-trick
To underline his value
The significance of extra
Time stopping at tea time
Then, gasping, tension
Sucked out of the
North London air
Fingernails bitten
To the quick
Over the line
Fine margins
But 4-2 commandingly
Russian linesman
Became English citizen
For that day of days
But we were
Still babes in arms
In the garden of
Home toying with
The rich discoveries
Of life
Three, a deeply loved
Child nurtured
In the warmth
Of doting parents
Who knew very
Little about the
Afternoon of
History and
Heritage
Names reverberating
Like the chapel bells
Near the village green
Of cricket’s evocative
Crack of willow in
July’s dozing slumber
But football had given
Us this day,
You were still far too
Young to appreciate
Its smell, taste and
Heavy with poignancy
A day to pass on
Anecdotes of Sir
Alf’s emotionless
Stance, unsure
Of what to do
On the final whistle
So 1966 was never
On your radar
But inwardly you
Were thrilled in
Every nerve ending
And blood cell
But you were
A kid in the midst
Of it all
Pretending that
You too were
Imitations of Bobby,
Geoff, Martin, Nobby,
Roger, excitable Alan
Ball with every reason
Then the Charltons
Brothers in arms
Jack slumped to the
Ground, Bobby cried
Buckets of tears
Falling on hills,
Fields, marshes
Dales and mountains
Of England’s yesteryear
Today, but then George
Cohen, Ray Wilson
Emerged onto Kensington
Hotel balconies
With timeless smiles
Acknowledging
The cheers
On the spur
Of the moment
Before Roger
Hunt led the
Historic procession
England World Cup
Winners in 1966
Perhaps yet again
In appointments of
Destiny
But for now
We can only dwell
On that echoing
Delirium
Of penultimate July
Days when you
Were childish
Detached observers
And waiting for
Literary pronouncements
From Ken Wolstenholme
Who declared the
Ultimate cry, we’ve
Done it, 4-2, fans
And all.

12

Notes

England and the 1966 World Cup Final when I was three.

Source: https://footballpoets.org/poems/1966-and-all-that-when-we-were-babes-in-arms/