They Made The People Happy

1 Leave a comment on verse 1 0 The magician di Stefano
White arrow silver string
From the burning bow
That is the Madrilenos
And Gento his flamboyant colours
Brave as Picasso and passionate as Lorca
Kopa came out from the mines a miracle made flesh
His boots flashing like blades
Eusebio black panther
Prowled a pitch built by Michelangelo
Pele the 11th Commandment
The most beautiful of dreams
Son of football his goals a gospel
Zico the Brazilian angel who
Brought his goals back from heaven
Wrapped in stardust and magic
Duncan Edwards a rock
And football would be built upon this
A lesson that time would not erase, or forget
Billy McNeill Caesar with the European Cup
As his magnificent crown
Bobby Murdoch Lisbon Lion majestic
And triumphant tamed the dark soul
Of catenaccio
George Best needing no script
No dress rehearsals to tease genius
From those achingly beautiful limbs
Rossi redemptive angel secure in the prize
Of football immortality
Walter Tull his energetic soul burning with
The commitment of the righteous
Matt Busby the subtle father figure
Whose immeasurable heart gave
Football its reason
Cruyff forever twisting and turning
Like a sidewinder across the sands
Of time indifferent to all pretenders
Jair his sensual limbs sinewy rhythms
And obedient shadow inspired nations
Platini the articulate prince whose
Manifold skills drew the breath
Of the light
Beckenbauer the Kaiser
Whose precision surpassed
The dreams of his maker
Yashin the dark guardian of his territory
Agile poet whose arms drew down the sun
Bobby Charlton his thunderous boots
Blistered with desire upon a field
Littered with benediction
Bob Paisley man of deeds whose quiet
Glory silenced lesser gods
Puskas the galloping major
The magical Magyar with the
Miraculous left foot
Jock Stein Celtic Icon
And man of warmth and truth
Cantona, terrace Rimbaud
Verlaine’s dark vision
Blazing across Elysium’s pitch
Garrincha the little bird
Whose song sang sweetest
From the ravages of neglect
Tom Finney with wings of fire
Laced to his legend an eternal flame
Immaculate still
Just Fontaine from the brush of Monet
Raced across the patient earth whose thirst
For goals would not be disappointed
Jimmy Johnstone Parkhead’s genius
Facchetti’s conqueror whose maverick boots
Broke open the cage around the spirit of football
Billy Liddell blowing across the fields of Anfield
Where the faithful still gather and sing his name
Zidane how his light illuminated the Paris night
His boots weaving golden webs as his colours
Spoke with a universal tongue
Marco Van Basten crouched and ready to pounce
Waits for Zeus to send his thunderbolts
Disguised as goals
Gentile proud in his defiance of all foolish enough
To try to pick open the fierce determination
Of the Neapolitan lock and key
Stanley Matthews burst forth from Abraham’s bosom
A psalm that found its true voice in the hearts
Of honour and courage
Beckham the golden boy whose petulance redeemed itself
In the fires of a nation hungry for a hero,
And willing to forgive
Maradona the hand of scopa
Outwitting his God-Given boots
Allowed his dark soul to walk alone
On the long journey of a fallen angel
Bill Dean netting goals
As the Christ netted fishes
Danny Blanchflower his elegant spirit
Shining out from boots packed with
Grace and honesty
Billy Bremner drilling goals
Into the roof of heaven’s nets
Alex Young with shimmering brilliance
Watches his light try to catch up with him
Charlie George North Bank Hero
His scorching goals burned pitches
And hearts alike
Jackie Milburn Geordie Hero
Whose dazzling skills wove a luminous
Path of black and white gold dust
Nat Lofthouse patron saint of aerial combat
His lion heart tireless, and not found wanting
Frank Worthington rock and roll star
Shooting goals from the hip with a low slung
Defiance that held the terrace in the soul of his boots
Denis Law his skinny frame twisting like spaghetti
Around a fork whilst his brilliance danced through
Defences spellbound and played out
Dino Zoff his long shadow casting spells
That mesmerised the ball so it fell harmlessly
Into his paternal hands
Bill Shankly proud coalminer’s son hued from the
Earth of heroes his Jimmy Cagney swagger
Robed in the old number 4 shirt and still
Playing on the green grass of his dreams.


tobyjones (aka sharon marshall) 8th january 2004

Source: https://footballpoets.org/poems/they-made-the-people-happy/