Comrade Jim – The spy who played for Spartak!

1 Leave a comment on verse 1 0 Greet the first Brit to play in the USSR
Alexei Smertin’s translator at Pompey
Learned Scholar who trained as a spy
Whilst sharing tea with high society

2 Leave a comment on verse 2 0 Strolled the road trodden by Bennett and Frayn
Eavesdropped communiqués now and then
Stationed to Berlin for National Service
And fraternised with local servicemen

3 Leave a comment on verse 3 0 Round leather bag again the common bridge
With a drunk centre back appearing grim
So a debut in front of a 50,000 mass
Lenin stadium stood to salute Communist Jim

4 Leave a comment on verse 4 0 Centre half a close “friend of the green snake”
Led to an opportunity almost 50 years ago
Therefore Jim donned the illustrious red and white
Running out to face Tashkent side Pakhtakor

5 Leave a comment on verse 5 0 It finished 2-2 for the Soviet juggernaut
“Chopper” aptly christened before the game
Though presented in public as Yakov Iordanov
Russian version of the lofty giants name

6 Leave a comment on verse 6 0 The Diplomat did enough to reappear
First Briton to play the Soviet league
Against Khairat Almaty in the next match
Denials simply add to the intrigue

7 Leave a comment on verse 7 0 Brush with national skipper Igor Netto
Authored the “Sport in Soviet Society”
Plenty for some, but not espionage Jim
Red exploits weave a quite brilliant story

8 Leave a comment on verse 8 0 Number 7
(c) Emdad Rahman



Just reading the book – about Jim Riordan 🙂 What an astonishing story!

Source: https://footballpoets.org/poems/comrade-jim-the-spy-who-played-for-spartak/?shared=email&msg=fail