Gold Medal, Golden Boot

1 Leave a comment on verse 1 0 An amateur era,
some say golden,
where, to broadcasters,
no one was beholden.
Podium top step,
hot, Stockholm summer,
no Oxbridge educated,
runner, or rower.
An unpaid player,
a bantams legend,
leagues top scorer,
Henry Walden.
Three games, nine goals,
on the way to Gold.
War drew him back to
the military fold.
Hostilities over,
back to the game.
Arsenal, then Oldham,
never the same.
Re-invented himself,
as a music hall act,
thats a wikipedia fact.
Appeared in films,
recorded a song,
way before Cantona
was born.
A one way ticket,
on Leeds station.
The last football
gold medal,
for this nation.



I chanced upon an article about Great Britains gold medal winning Olympic team in the 1912 Olympic games.

Back then you could be an amateur and still play at the top level, I am sure many Chelsea fans have heard of Vivien Woodward, who was also in that side.

The top scorer in that tournament was Bradford City’s Henry Walden, a former career soldier, and I researched him, uncovering many interesting trivial facts.

It seems that many footballers ( and other sportsmen ) of the Edwardian era were very interesting characters, Charles Buchan for example.

In an era when most players are corporate robots, someone like Balotelli sticks out, but I think old Henry puts him in the shade.

Source: https://footballpoets.org/poems/gold-medal-golden-boot/