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The Poetry of Euro ’21 (Football Poets 2000-2021)

1 Leave a comment on verse 1 0 none of us can know how it will happen
no-one here is really really sure
we’re struggling now to get our heads around it
and wishing it could be just like before
but after everything that we have been through
in what has been the strangest saddest year
we may not know if we can go or be there
but suddenly a tournament draws near
so all we ask is keep your poems flowing
soon so soon the games will have begun
and may our rhymes reflect these times..it’s coming
the poetry of Euro ’21

2 Leave a comment on verse 2 0 for in the Spring in Stroud back in 2000
we poets sat outside of Mills Café
and in that courtyard round a wooden table
a plan was hatched that still remains today
where once our football words were only spoken
at gigs or when we’d meet up in some bar
with all our thoughts confined to bits of paper
the chance at last to spread our verses far
the idea seemed preposterous and crazy
perhaps we were indeed the only ones
but somehow with the help of Dave* and Stuart
the Football Poets website had begun

3 Leave a comment on verse 3 0 we launched in June when Summer brought the Euros
to Belgium and to Netherlands that year
and to our joy the poems came in numbers
from those who loved the game from far and near
and meanwhile in that hazy crazy summer
we stood or sat with eyes glued to those screens
as flags they flew on pubs and cars and buildings
we followed in our numbers with our dreams
and hopes grew strong although our group looked daunting
that golden day when when we beat Germany
only to lose out to Romania
with that despairing last gasp penalty

4 Leave a comment on verse 4 0 we drowned our sorrows barely three days later
and we all swore we’d win the thing next time (!)
when we went down to Glaston’bry for Bowie
and Coldplay made an entrance there so fine
before we knew of masks or isolation
before the kind of past year we’ve all known
before our media became so social
before we could not live without our phones
but we’re still here whichever clubs we follow
and all our words arrive here just the same
reflecting still in voices loud and booming
our love or loathing for the People’s Game
and from that fateful meeting in 2000
the friends we’ve made.. the journey on the way
we carry on regardless and remember
the plan we hatched that still remains today

5 Leave a comment on verse 5 0 and after everything that we have been through
in what has been the strangest saddest year
we may not know if we can go or be there
but suddenly a tournament draws near
so all we ask is keep your poems flowing
soon so soon the games will have begun
may all our rhymes reflect these times..it’s coming
the poetry of Euro ’21

12

Notes

ABOUT FOOTBALL POETS …..2000-2021
“The only known collective of football poets in the world” Today BBC Radio 4.

A SHORT HISTORY ~ Football Poets was launched in June 2000 to coincide with Euro 2000 . A totally un-funded, not-for profit vision and website , it was founded by myself, Crispin Thomas, Stuart Butler in its’ initial (now ancient) digital format by our ex-webmaster Dave Cockcroft in June 2000 .

Football Poets today would not still be here today without the massive suport and help of Christian Wach of The Spirit of Football, to whom we offer our deepest thanks and gratitude . Christian single-handedly rebuilt this site , somehow saving all of your/our 16000+ published football poems and relaunched it here in its new and current format in 2017.

“Wacky funny and downright mad..but also serious. ” Kick It Out

EDITORS
Currently edited by Crispin in Stroud from its inception and with the invaluable help of Simon Williams in Dublin since 2001 it is maintained by Christian and also archived regularly by the British Library for posterity since 2008. Together Simon, Christian and I are proud to keep the site a living, breathing adjunct to the wonderful world of Football, where all who contribute or visit get to experience and daub their own little mascara’d touches to the face of the Beautiful Game.

During these past 21 years the site has seen 5 editors; Crispin, Stuart, Parry Maguire, Peter Goulding and Simon Williams (aka Clik The Mouse) . For over 10 years, we were without a webmaster and struggling to maintain an ailing antiquated site built on an out of date plaform which ran like a Heath Robinson old but much-loved football ground.

There are on the site, poems about every aspect of Football, and also how Football reaches into people’s lives, in so many different ways. We take pride in the fact that we try to encourage fans of every age, gender, race, creed, colour, physiology and social standing to embrace the world of Football in poetry.

INVOLVEMENTS /INITIATIVES MEDIA & BEYOND
Along the way , we have worked alongside, been associated/ aligned/appeared with and been recognised and acknowledged by many worthy social initiatives to further encourage those aspirations including :
‘Kick It Out’, ‘The British Council’ ,’National Literacy Trust, ‘Playing For Success’ ‘Kick Into Reading’,’ Reading The Game’, ‘Reading is Fundamental’, ‘Show Racism the Red Card’, ‘Word Up’, ‘Football Unites, Racism Divides’, ‘Give Us Back Our Game’ , ‘Philosophy Football’, ‘Dads Against Drugs ‘ , ‘Read A Million Words’, ‘The Guardian’, ‘The Independent’, ‘The Telegraph’, ‘They Think It’s All Over’ ‘When Saturday Comes’,’Match of The Day 2′ ‘Inside Out’ BBC 1 TV, ‘BBC Radio 5 Live’, ‘Sky Sports’, ‘BBC Radio Gloucestershire’ ‘Cheltenham Festival of Literature, ‘Cheltenham Poetry Festival’, ‘Glastonbury Festival’, ‘Stroud Fringe Festival’, ‘Larmer Tree Festival’, ‘Marlborough Jazz Festival ‘ ,and of course ‘The British Library’ who archived us for posterity as one of only 1000 recommended sites and for which we are very proud.

EDUCATIONAL INVOLVEMENTS LOCAL & GLOBAL
We know we have a global reach, there are poems on the website from every continent on the planet. Our biggest restriction is that we can only currently accept poems in English.

We are also a conduit for countless schools, colleges and educational establishments across the globe – many of whom have sent in the fruits of their wonderful efforts. What a great vibrant contribution they make & also the community initiatives with poetic contributions from clubs we have directly inspired including Chelsea FC, Reading, Portsmouth, Cambridge United, Newcastle United, Nottingham Forest and West Ham Utd (ELG) to name but a few..

ABOUT CRISPIN
“One of the pioneers of football poetry. Who ate all the pioneers? ”
Attila The Stockbroker

“The beautiful game in all its guises . In the street, in the ground, in the memory, in the heart . Poetry with balls! ” Michael Foreman

In addition to extensive work in the UK at football clubs and communities ,Crispin has along the way been invited by the British Council to perform and run workshops in Germany during the World Cup. Through his poetry work at Chelsea FC with students, as their Poet Loreate in the mid 2000s, he was also invited by the British council to Portoto to work with students at their offices and in ‘Secondaria’ schools .

We are indebted to the many people who have championed the site including Jim Sells of The National Literacy Trust, Suzi Raymond and Wendy of Chelsea FC ,Peter Daniel of Westmister Archives, Jude at Fulham FC, Jennie at Reading SSC ,Piara Power and Lord Ousley at Kick it Out, Show Racism The Red Card, Football Unites Racism Divides and Liam Murtagh of King Edward V1 Morperth..we thank you .

Alongside its online presence and undoubted contribution to raising literacy standards Crispin has performed, run workshops and inspired hundreds of enthralled students at the following
Football Club Study Support Centres : AFC Telford, Birmingham City, Blackburn Rovers, Chelsea FC, Charlton Athletic, Colchester United, Everton, Forest Green Rovers, Fulham FC, Lincoln City, Mansfield Town, Nothampton Town, Portsmouth, Plymouth Argyle, Queens Park Rangers, Reading, Sheffield United, Stoke City, West Ham United & West Bromwich Albion.

There are too many football-loving individual poets, writers and contributors to mention – whose work we have published here , mostly for the first time well over 2000!!

There are certainly many more people who read and enjoy the poems on the website, including sections of the media, who have referened us on many occasions and also make enquiries from time to time.

ANNUAL EVENTS COVERED & COMMEMORATED
We have commemorated and continue to cover annual events and anniversaries of various football moments nd tragedies, e.g. Hillsborough, Heysel, Bradford, Munich Air Crash and the Christmas Truce of 1914. The various footballing events/ major competitions. From our inception at Euro 2000 to the FA Cup, African Cup of Nations, World Cups 02, 06 & ’07 (Women’s) and more recently with the World Cup 2010 ,2014 and 2018. We hope there’ll be plenty more inspiration for all our past, present and future contributors! Regards

Simon Williams (aka Clik the Mouse . Ireland (Editor 2001-Present)

“Big thanks to Clik for being there through thick and thin, most especially when my wife was very ill and of course to Christian.. Much respect also to you all for contributing to support the site with your wonderfully diverse poems Keep on.
Crispin Thomas Butterow. Stroud (Editor June 2000-Present )

“Of all the things I’ve achieved in my life, I do take pride in the recognition and success the site has achieved – and all from a simple idea originating in the back room of a puband a café in Stroud in 2000”.
Stuart Butler Rodborough Stroud 1.6.10 (Editor 2000-2005 )

Source: https://footballpoets.org/poems/the-poetry-of-euro-21-football-poets-june-2000-2021/