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The FA Cup Giantkillers & The Hammers

1 Leave a comment on verse 1 0 The Fourth Round
Of the FA Cup,
A revelation of
Epic proportions
Perhaps an apparition
Possibly a figment
Of our imagination
But then credible
Viable, anything
That could happen
Did that was unexpected
Once again the embodiment
Of our aspirations, dreams
Reinforced.
The third round achieved
The impossible when
Somehow, it seemed
Mind- blowingly inconceivable
Cambridge the university city
Presented us with footballing
Dons and undergraduates
And the river Cam flowed
With the sweetest selection
Of fruit and fondant fancies
But over the weekend
Cambridge stole the limelight
Like burglars on light feet
Sneaking through yawning
Windows, grabbing the prolific
Booty, scoring the only goal
At St James Park, where
Newcastle have been gritting
Their teeth since 1955
For anything resembling success
Oh the crying shame
Never mind Newcastle
Surely not Hereford again
When 1972 seemed a horrendous
Scar on their top flight
Ambitions
Their day has to arrive
Sooner rather than later
For Gallowgate pride
Hearts still
Pounding away
There will always be
Next year
But Cambridge broke
Boundaries, disobeyed
The command of
Convention
Treading the black and white
Stripes into the lush green
Grass of the Geordie
Revolution, now delayed
Since the wealth of rich
Saudi money will speak
The language of football’s
Vernacular or the syntax,
Words, verbs and pronouns
That seem fitting the Newcastle
Way, a template of survival
From near- certain relegation
That obvious
Blueprint, the policy of success
Only the Premier League will do
But first things first
Cambridge gave us a man
Called Ironside and he turned
On a sixpence or perhaps a
shilling. Oh it could have been
A tanner but far too long ago
Now the fiver and
Shiny quid
Coin has tarnished the
Varnish of Eddie Howe’s
Newcastle roller coaster
Journey
But a goal nonetheless
That stimulated the senses
Of the Cambridge
Footlights and now
The comedy of any age
But still within the cloisters
While erudite students
Of the Beautiful Game
The splendour and beauty
That is etched into the game’s
Historic manifesto
Of the Abbey Stadium’s
Archive of fantasy now
Fulfilled
So to Boreham Wood
And Kidderminster Harriers
Also leading actors on fourth
Round night
Now Kidderminster once
Again meet
In the second instalment
Of the FA Cup’s chapter
And verse. When
Back in the hotbed of the
1990s there was another
Cultural collision with
The West Ham art class
With its fingerprints
Of pedigree and
Stature firmly in place
But only a goal
From Lee Chapman
Salvaged the Hammers
Blushes and then yet
More tales
And stirring stories
Of giant killing
Embarrassed in claret
And blue
But not for the
First time
And then Boreham
Wood, sounding
Quaint and rural
But never tedious
Hertforshire’s finest
But non League’s
Ambassadors and flag
Bearers, representatives
of the game’s pulsing
Grassroots, standards
Of decency
Through to the fourth
Round of the FA Cup
Oh delicious nectar
Flights of fancy
And surely never
Among the favourites
To win the old trophy
But hope still springs eternal
Surely not in 2022
Though
Wembley’s honoured
Day of days
At Wembley in May
But Boreham Wood
Are the FA Cup’s
Level playing ground
Just for a while
But no longer
When the fifth
Round beckons
With teasing fingers
The bigger fishes
Will prosper the
Pampered professionals
Who once travelled with
Us on our bus
But now speed past
Us in limousines or
Luxurious sports cars
As if oblivious of the
Class divide
But Boreham Wood,
Kidderminster Harriers
And Cambridge United
Our glamorous personification
Of how the Cup used to be
And still is
No longer Tom Finney
Cigarette cards, nor the
Devious shuffle
And poetry of Sir
Stanley Matthews
Blackpool’s Tower
Of ballroom feet
But the Hammers
Will arrive in Kidderminster
Again, freshly scrubbed
Ready to go
Prepared for their fate
On the day
If only you could
Bottle the FA Cup’s
Intoxicating brews
Of suspended belief
Then, that sumptuous
Day in the middle of
May at the seaon’s end
When trophies are delivered
When the cinnamon flavours
Of the FA Cup Final again.

10

Notes

My homage to the FA Cup third round and the Hammers.

Source: https://footballpoets.org/poems/the-fa-cup-plus-giantkillers-and-dont-forget-the-hammers/