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When I was a kid, I lived for football.
Kicking a ball against a wall,
Playing in the road, using street names as goal posts,
Playing ‘Five and In’,
Practising and practising and practising,
Until it got too dark to see,
Then falling asleep and dreaming of playing for England.
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When I got a bit older, on my ninth birthday,
I went to my first match and was smitten:
Watching and studying and learning
The intricate skills of the professional,
As well as cheering and shouting.
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I carried on playing;
School teams in the morning,
Local leagues on Saturday afternoons,
Then getting the scores at twenty to five,
Joining the twilight motley throngs
Standing outside the television shops,
Noses pressed to the windows.
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I loved floodlit midweek games,
The hot chocolate walk home from the ground,
But the ritual and narrative of each week
Revolved around ‘When Saturday Comes’:
Life in all its guises was determined by this.
But now with Stroud Strollers,
The ritual and narrative of each week
Revolves around ‘When Monday Comes’:
Life in all its guises is determined by this.
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Songs of Innocence and Experience:
William Blake would have loved Stroud Strollers:
‘When Monday Comes’ –
Not amongst these dark satanic mills,
But the Astro-turf at Stratford Park;
‘And did those feet in ancient time
Walk upon England’s mountains green?’
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Why not come and walk with Stroud Strollers at Stratford Park?
You’ll re-experience the innocence of childhood,
You’ll feel young at heart,
And don’t be alarmed when you know and feel
The hands of the clock go widdershins –
It’s just the norm: you feel young again.
And don’t worry about the weather.
It never rains on Stroud Strollers.
The sun shines on the righteous.