The Battle of ‘47: Part Two

1 Leave a comment on verse 1 0 And now the kick off and the first rush.
Soon the crowd begins to roar.
This game always brings a turn out.
Must be forty if not more.

2 Leave a comment on verse 2 0 The first ten minutes all is in action,
Forwards scurry, backs oppose,
Throw ins, corners, taken quickly.
Lungs are pumping, blood fast flows.

3 Leave a comment on verse 3 0 A nippy little inside forward,
Fastest on the field by far,
Hits a cross from five yards out and,
Blasts the ball straight o’er the bar.

4 Leave a comment on verse 4 0 These following scenes of thud and blunder,
No planned movements worth the name,
All finesse is now abandoned,
Football skills have left the game.

5 Leave a comment on verse 5 0 The ball is punted up the middle,
Then it’s thumped straight back again,
This goes on for several minutes.
Just why, no-one can explain.

6 Leave a comment on verse 6 0 If there was a strategy or game plan
It’s all been forgotten now.
Players barge and clash together,
Fists then fly which cause a row.

7 Leave a comment on verse 7 0 The diplomatic referee who’d
Had charge of this game before,
Moving to avoid more problems,
Blew for half time and no score.

8 Leave a comment on verse 8 0 The teams stand round in half time huddles,
Deep inhaling Woodbines’ smoke,
Captains mutter new instructions,
Cold tea’s poured down thirsty throats.

9 Leave a comment on verse 9 0 Stub out the dog ends, once more line up
Ready for the second half,
Captains call “Now get stuck in lads!”
Whistle blows, the ball is passed.

10 Leave a comment on verse 10 0 A passage now of sparkling football,
By their play both teams make plain
It’s their game, they mean to win it.
The match has come alive again.

11 Leave a comment on verse 11 0 But soon a weariness invades them,
Sweat made steam above their heads,
Slower now the sprints and tackles,
Heavy pitch makes leaden legs.

12 Leave a comment on verse 12 0 The leather ball is wet and solid,
Covered with a film of mud,
Players with the nerve to do so,
Head it with a sickening thud.

13 Leave a comment on verse 13 0 Skittering, sliding on the surface,
Pitch a muddied, freezing slick,
Players struggle to play football
And stay upright, that’s the trick!

14 Leave a comment on verse 14 0 Spectators frozen to the touchline,
Chilblained feet and fingers sore,
Moan about the lack of action,
Eighty minutes, still no score.

15 Leave a comment on verse 15 0 So, more in hope than expectation,
Eastington’s left half lets fly,
First his toe punt hits the crossbar,
Then rebounds to number nine.

16 Leave a comment on verse 16 0 He swings his right leg, half connecting,
Goalie, diving to his left,
Catches centre forward’s shinpad.
The ball bounced into the net.

17 Leave a comment on verse 17 0 Goal! And the watchers warm their fingers
With applause their team commend.
The referee gives into cold and
Brings the contest to an end.

18 Leave a comment on verse 18 0 All quit the field in hot discussion,
The scorer enjoys his brief fame,
Then to Hunt’s to wait the Pink ‘Un,
Hold an inquest on the game.

19 Leave a comment on verse 19 0 The groundsman stays, and lonely figure,
Folds the nets, retrieves the stakes,
Slowly moving, cold enwrapping,
Dreams of warmth to ease his aches.

20 Leave a comment on verse 20 0 A blood red sun was slowly setting,
Heralding the ice and frost
Of winter nineteen forty seven,
When weather won and football lost.

Source: https://footballpoets.org/poems/the-battle-of-47-part-two/