The Ballad of Paddy Moore

1 Leave a comment on verse 1 0 ‘Twas on the 25th of Feb. in nineteen thirty four,
A historic day for Ireland, and inspired for Paddy Moore.
It was Ireland’s World Cup debut on that chilly winter’s day,
And Dalymount was buzzing as the teams ran out to play.

2 Leave a comment on verse 2 0 Our opponents were the Belgians who were very hard to beat,
Most difficult to tackle when they played the ball to feet.
It was our introduction to international competition,
And many people feared a continental demolition.

3 Leave a comment on verse 3 0 But all the way from Aberdeen came Ireland’s Paddy Moore,
He’d been transferred from Rovers just a short few months before.
He’d only ever won two caps, and he had scored in each,
And maintaining that proud record should not be beyond his reach.

4 Leave a comment on verse 4 0 Now Paddy was a drinking man, he had a reputation
For soaking up a lot of pints in post-match celebration,
And the rumour went around, though perhaps it was unfair,
That Paddy had turned up to face the Belgians worse for wear.

5 Leave a comment on verse 5 0 Our baptism was dreadful in that ’34 World Cup,
For Capelle and Van der Eynde put the visitors two up,
Twenty eight thousand fans all grimaced in frustration,
And wondered if they’d come to witness an annihilation.

6 Leave a comment on verse 6 0 But on twenty seven minutes, the Free State pulled one back,
As Derry’s Jimmy Kelly orchestrated the attack.
He crossed the ball into the box, and in came Paddy Moore,
Who fired it home to register our debut World Cup score.

7 Leave a comment on verse 7 0 Half time came with Belgium’s men still one goal to the good,
The Irish hoped we’d score again, and many felt we would.
But down inside the changing rooms, the rumour mill insisted
That Paddy had a chaser and then came out fairly twisted.

8 Leave a comment on verse 8 0 Two minutes barely had elapsed when Belgium scored again,
‘Twas Francois van der Eynde who administered the pain,
And many of the faithful looked aghast and bowed their heads,
Acknowledging the skill and the proud talent of the Reds.

9 Leave a comment on verse 9 0 But then the tide was turned around in one eight minute spell,
As Ireland started passing and their game began to gel,
Midfielder Billy Kennedy, who played for James’s Gate,
Split the Belgian backs in two and Paddy aimed it straight.

10 Leave a comment on verse 10 0 Then Jimmy Kelly got the ball and put it on the spot,
And Paddy got his hat-trick with a strong and fearsome shot.
Van der Wijer in the Belgian goal looked downcast and forlorn,
But in the ground at Dalymount, a new star had been born.

11 Leave a comment on verse 11 0 But there was still a sting to come, befitting of a thriller-
The Belgians snatched another goal, which seemed to be the killer.
The euphoric celebrations quickly turned to agony,
As our continental cousins seemed to have the match four – three.

12 Leave a comment on verse 12 0 But Dolphin great, Joe Kendrick, did not take it lying down,
He crossed it quite immaculately onto Paddy’s crown.
A bullet of a header and the score became four – four,
Elucidating one more time that stadium’s famous roar.

13 Leave a comment on verse 13 0 And that was how it finished in a most pulsating game,
And everyone in Ireland seemed to know bould Paddy’s name.
Forty one years came and went, before that epic feat
Was equalled by Don Givens in a thrilling Turkish treat.

14 Leave a comment on verse 14 0 Paddy’s international career was sadly very short,
Seven goals in just nine games was all his talents brought.
He transferred back to the Rovers, when just two more years were through,
But the drinking took it’s toll, and he was dead by forty two.

15 Leave a comment on verse 15 0 So gather round and raise a glass to poor old Paddy Moore,
The pride and toast of Dalymount in nineteen thirty four.
His star shone very brilliantly in Ireland’s football scene,
Perhaps the first true superstar to wear the famous green.


No, I wasn’t there!!
Though I feel, a la Daniel McDonagh and Sharon Marshall, that these little vignettes should be recorded for posterity.

Source: https://footballpoets.org/poems/the-ballad-of-paddy-moore/