Oh, what a night!

1 Leave a comment on verse 1 0 You’d hardly expect me
To be anything but overjoyed
The immediate reaction
West Ham United
More United than ever before
It was Czech mate for Fiorentina
Italian stallions
No longer regarded as such
West Ham
European Conference winners
Now preserve that iconic moment
In golden lettering
On Mount Olympus
Take a sigh or breath for a while
The sweet rhapsodies in claret
And blue,
After 58 years of drought
And famine
Finally rich forests of fruit
And fruition
When most of us felt
That Bobby Moore
Would be the one and only
Even Hammer Chesney Hawkes
Declared his affection
For Thames Ironworks
Men of pride and history
Lifted that elusive trophy
In European heartlands
Where the effervescence in
Our mind and senses
Blew bubbles high into
A Czech night
Of exhausting narratives
Where the warm exuberance
Of youth and experience
And time stood still
But during that decade
That swung
The 1960’s Swinging Sixties
Cliches abounded
For the fatherly and
Amiable Ron Greenwood
Presided over a claret
And blue horizon
1965, what a year
And night that must have been
Where Alan Sealey, Mooro,
Sir Geoff and Martin
Peters sipped a private
Bottle of claret
How appropriate
And then Cup Winners Cup
Jumped for joy
Cavorting and carousing
Around Wembley’s fair and green
Now June 2023 in its opening
Scenarios of valour and victory
Where the glint of silver and
Silverware finally lands on
That long neglected trophy cabinet
Rejected by fate for so long
Dusty artefacts of 1965, 1975
And 1980,
Ancient fossils from the neolithic age
Quite possibly
But West Ham crowned Kings of Europe
Well, of a kind
They ridiculed the Conference
As just a conversation piece
But still recognised by UEFA
A trophy, trophy
It almost tastes like
The most perfumed smell
Of the summer rose bush
June blooms
For the Irons
Hammers of the world
Congregate on the podium
Where medals were hung
Over the white and orange
Shirts, who accepted their
Moment of destiny
In much the way their parents
And grandparents
Must have done
When the Beatles conquered
Their domain and the world
Here and now though
West Ham again
Drink from the finest decanter
Declan Rice skipper for the night
Maybe his farewell evening
To the fanatical and devoted
Fans who insisted the England
Man is going nowhere at all
One more year, two more perhaps
Even three or just staying put
Until the enormity of this
Triumph sinks in
The dawning realisation
That there will never be
A night like this in
East End taverns, drinking
Hostelries, very public
Houses where amber nectar
Dreams were born
And yet it wasn’t arresting
Or aesthetically pleasing
On the eye
Just dockyard steel and
And red hot furnaces
But yet the Irons ruled
Over their kingdom, their
Empire in tight little
Back Streets, heaving and
Seething with teeming triumph
Last night Said Benrahma
The revelation of the
London Stadium
This season at least
Against the grim and grimy
Landscape where only the
Smoking pits of desolation
Left an aching void
In West Ham hearts
Now the shipyard workers
And stevedores who once
Plied their trade in
The East London dockyards
For the hard working class
The cloth cap proletariat
Who must have been convinced
The families of future
Generations would never witness
That night, last night
When the Irons came together
Under canopies of shared feeling
And kinship, resonant
Rapport, united by birth
At the voyage of discovery
When you realised
That our ancestors
Who must have thought
They were the torch
Holders on those well
Furnished podiums
When triumphant dreams
Led down well decorated
Avenues in the
1960s moment of moments
Last night momentous
Nights were sparkling
Again, Said’s penalty
Driven home the first Hammer blow
Fantasies blossoming in floral
Profusion, no sharp thorns
And prickly obstacles
In their way
Fiorentina in complete
Charge of proceedings
And yet blunt and lifeless
Up front
Instead vintage Hammers
Improvised in a key of B Major
Muddled and yet industrious
Rolling up the proverbial sleeves
Victory in Europe
What a night
Pacqueta’s sweet as a nut
Slide rule pass
Bowen magnificence again
It was surely in the stars



What a night for the Hammers. Euro Conference champions, West Ham’s unforgettable night in Prague.

Source: https://footballpoets.org/poems/oh-what-a-night-2/