Gary Sprake

1 Leave a comment on verse 1 0 Could those of us who coldly judged
match the example of his effort
Sunk in half a foot of sand and mud
flying unseeing at boots, into fists,
the foreheads of gap-toothed tigers

2 Leave a comment on verse 2 0 Unprotected but for boldness, bravery
abandoned athleticism, acute action
to meet the breach of the defenders,
bracing, coiling, arching, twisting,
straining to preserve this last, final line

3 Leave a comment on verse 3 0 Is it justice that a career is measured
in looped, flickering, grainy images
of misjudgement, denied the gratitude
for one hundred other heroic deeds,
crucially absent from the visual record

4 Leave a comment on verse 4 0 His seasonal resilience appreciated
most by those in white who followed
the green of his broad, straight back,
out of the liniment-dank of the tunnel
to the wind-wild battle of football men

5 Leave a comment on verse 5 0 At the end, there is a bow to be taken,
respect from those too far to know
the lonely expanse of the six yard box,
exquisite agony of the net-nestled ball,
the exhilaration of the top corner save

Source: https://footballpoets.org/poems/gary-sprake/