The Custodian.

1 Leave a comment on verse 1 0 When playing in goal, one never knows
If a forward will feign, pass or shoot
It can be awfully hard on one’s knees and elbows
But not on the sole’s of one’s boots.

2 Leave a comment on verse 2 0 See, a keeper’s domain is a mere eighteen yards
That’s not much of God’s turf to patrol
But by being alert and standing on guard
All helps in protecting one’s goal.

3 Leave a comment on verse 3 0 On bone dry pitches in Belcourt, Algeria
Burnt to a crust by hot weather
Albert Camus came up with the bright idea
That being a goalie, would save on shoe leather!



This poem is influenced by a terrific Camus short story that I read somewhere, a while back. Camus tells the tale of deciding to be a keeper so that he wouldn’t wear his shoes out, as his cash strapped grandma couldn’t afford to buy him another pair!

The latter part of this great story is about him playing, in goal, for an amateur side in the Paris suburbs after emigrating there from Algeria.

The words just jump off the pages and grab you, so much so that you’re there with him, even down to travelling by public transport to the game.

I, sadly, can’t remember the name of the short story,

Albert Camus was advised to stop playing in goal after catching TB around 1930, otherwise what descriptive tales he could have written of a life, stood between the sticks! As the last line of defence.



Editor’s note :

thank goodness we have the likes of Non Humphries to carry on Camus’ tradition!

Source: https://footballpoets.org/poems/the-custodian/