1 Leave a comment on verse 1 0 A hundred years ago, or so,
When Britannia ruled the waves,
And the sun never set on the descendants
Of its slaves,
England gave the game of football to the world,
But now as the Union Flag is unfurled,
This is no longer just a white mans’ game,
Women and men, the able and the lame,
Brown, black, yellow, white,
All express their right
To play The Peoples’ Game,
The Beautiful Game,
In all 5 continents and in 200 countries,
Across 7 seas and 5 oceans.
And in countries which half a century ago
Were at war, the World Cup
Will bring people together,
Whatever their disagreements –
For the month of June
Will see billions of our sisters and brothers
Sharing a common interest,
And what unites will be far stronger than what divides
In one World, one nation, one city, one chance,
For in bars and pubs and hotels and homes,
In shanty town and city sky scraper,
In village and in hamlet and on farm and in tower block,
In slum and in stately home,
At every moment of the day and night,
Across all the meridians and time zones,
Across all the lines of longitude and latitude,
Etched across this spinning globe,
People will be watching and listening,
Linked by football and humanity,
And kids will be kicking balls
On green-grass common, desert sand,
Shingle beach, city street and playground,
Hillside, mountainside, snow stepped waste
And in jungle, forest and on river bank,
Dreaming that they are their heroes
Winning a famous victory,
Linked by football and humanity.
And all will have that dream
But only a few can make it real,
But in the new millennium
We can all make a new dream real,
That “ In the race for success
There is only one race,
The human race,
But the prize
Is cosmopolitan”.
One Word, One World, One Nation, One City, One Chance.


Written for the June 1st cyber cafe, video conferencing, creative writing embracing of diversity Bradford World Cup event. Please see the message box for a note from the organiser, Keith Butler, for details of a marvellous educational cross-curricular website for the World Cup.

Source: https://footballpoets.org/poems/one-world-one-nation-one-city-world-cup-2002/