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Autumn

1 Leave a comment on verse 1 0 The Manor Ground; unfamiliar
For one who’d played on bigger stages
Who’d stolen headlines, earned famous wages
(“A hundred quid a week! imagine that!”)
Most folk had heard the figure quoted
And mused on what they’d prize the most….
To stay and serve the call of home and place
Or chance to move and be the toast
Of Italy or the ‘Lane?
….and never have to face the fears
that after all those loyal years
the endgame was to end up here…..
Well almost.
They must all have heard the stories told..
Many a ghost from great days
Over his shoulder might have said
“But he looks so old….”
with hair flecked grey
and thickened waist…
For ’68 had come with indecent haste
And time had taken a hand……
And a woman’s voice behind me said;
“So that’s the Johnny Haynes…
…not much good, is he..?” …..and
I ignored her because how would she know
from what she’d seen
As the chill wind would blow
On all that autumn day
in provincial England
What greatness was, and once had been?

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Source: https://footballpoets.org/poems/autumn-2/