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My dad.

1 Leave a comment on verse 1 1 You’ll never know how much you mean to me, dad
I loved you deeply and always will
And yet could never appreciate the visceral thrill
Although you never wore the football clothes
Of today and tomorrow’s shows at the feverish
Cauldron of the Boleyn, never moaning or groaning
But then
You said you couldn’t stand football
So I just sat down and contemplated
Never deflated
Your love, permanently over and over again

2 Leave a comment on verse 2 0 At kitchen tables we discussed Mercedes, Jags
Your cigarettes and fags, but who cared since
When you walked through the family’s door
And all things relating to the cars you did adore
But when I mentioned West Ham and England
Football’s feet of clay
You simply closed the doors at the topics of the day
Peter Lorimer’s thunderous shot,
So what. If Ron Harris tackled with fury
You preferred Juke Box Jury

3 Leave a comment on verse 3 0 Football was just for muddied oafs and never
The discussion of the day
But you were the best dad,
Whichever way
It was Fulham even though
You went with the flow
Your acquaintance with the Cottagers
Had no relation to Bestie, Marsh or Johnny
Haynes,
You were simply content with snooker frames

4 Leave a comment on verse 4 0 I loved you dad for you were the one
Your family thought you were glorious fun
Who, gently digesting Sunday sprouts
Questioned those football louts
Crunching mum’s lunch or brunch,
You Inquired at the necessity for the Big Match
When Brian Moore told us about the catch
Of the day from Peter Mellor, Fulham’s
Goalkeeper, home and away

5 Leave a comment on verse 5 0 Dad, you were the finest regardless of your aversion
To the football version I knew without exception
Thankyou for always being there, loving and clear
So affectionate and dear
Just my lifelong attachment to claret and blue
Upton Park, free kicks, corners, they were few
But you knew my brother and I were there
And we cared
Passionately for you

6 Leave a comment on verse 6 0 I’ll never forget you dad because you loved
My brother and I unconditionally even
Despite the season
Though you could never identify with
Ron Greenwood, Don Revie and Sir Alf
Or that bloke Ralph from Spurs
At the passions and fashions of West Ham
And England when tanners became new pence
You must have known
I could never sit on the fence

7 Leave a comment on verse 7 0 Dad, I knew you shuddered with apprehension
When the tension proved too much
But then the final whistle blew and you
Sighed with relief when Martin Chivers,
Alan Clarke and Tony Currie finally took
To the tunnel at the falling of the autumnal leaf

8 Leave a comment on verse 8 0 What was the point, you cried of 90 minutes
Of huff and puff, men chasing a leather ball
All that nostalgic stuff
So I hugged and embraced you, dad
For I knew you were struggling with
Offside laws
How to keep the ball on floors
Of greenswards,
Football of distinction
Co-ordination and the finest sheen
And that number nine who’s now a has been

9 Leave a comment on verse 9 0 I’ll never forget you dad, football was
Never your meat and potatoes,
The flavour of any month
Though you must have had a hunch
But Fulham was your team although
You would never know understand
Football’s vocal band
When you crunched mum’s adorable lunch
You hardly knew why football had to be so boring
But we understood your snoring at goal-less draws
On East End shores
Even when you began to cry
When the Eagles of Palace began to fly
But we would laugh together at the sudden moods
Of the day when the Hammers won with foods
In our stomach, the hunger for goals would
Never subside, we were never goal shy
Canaries fly.
But you were there for us dad
Always at our side we were so glad

10 Leave a comment on verse 10 0 We knew you loathed the mention
Of football and its condescension
When the upper classes sniffed
At football’s nonsensical riffs
You crunched mum’s lunch
At mum’s lovely brunch
And never disapproved of my
West Ham colours of claret
And blue covers of Bubbles
In the air
You were always there
Love you dad for ever

18

Notes

This is my eulogy to my late and lovely dad.

Source: https://footballpoets.org/poems/my-dad/