At The Reunion – For John Milkins

1 Leave a comment on verse 1 0 He holds out his hands,
says they are sore every day.
Old knuckles so swollen,
he’s never worn a ring.

2 Leave a comment on verse 2 0 No protection like now,
gloves thinner back then
those stitched leather footballs,
weighted with rain.

3 Leave a comment on verse 3 0 Yet recalling his history
he smiles at the past
a life fully lived,
in all its victories and scars.

4 Leave a comment on verse 4 0 Joining other players
on this anniversary date,
for wide grins and laughter;
for memories replayed.



In my new role as one of the writers in residence for Pompey’s 125th celebration season, I was at a players’ reunion event at Fratton Park in April.

This poem came from a conversation I had with John Milkins, who made 344 appearances in goal for Pompey between 1961 and 1974

It first appeared in the final match day programme from the 2022-23 season

Source: https://footballpoets.org/poems/at-the-reunion/