When You Can’t Be There

1 Leave a comment on verse 1 0 no-one can explain it
no-one understands
Sometimes it’s impossible
and way out of your hands
off somewhere or hard at work
you had to wash your hair
but ev’ry fan know how it feels
when you can’t be there

2 Leave a comment on verse 2 0 if you’re with the ‘big boys’
and always being shown
in pubs or clubs or online streams
or maybe yes at home
it’s quite another world away
from what it’s like down here
on good old local radio
when you can’t be there

3 Leave a comment on verse 3 0 your mates confirm they’re going
you hurry time along
but still you build up for the game
the rituals go on
and there with just the radio
it’s often hard to bear
imagining the way it looks
when you can’t be there

4 Leave a comment on verse 4 0 and everybody’s different
the things that they go through
entwined with all the other stuff
this life bestows on you
the other world you love and loathe
and those for whom you care
who either get or can’t believe
your longing to be there

5 Leave a comment on verse 5 0 so sometimes from my trusty dial
they help me understand
the beauty of a real live game
for ev’ry football fan
where commentators are like friends
whose nervousness we share
they make it oh so sweet again
When you can be there..



This has been a hard season for me.

The first part: Aug -Nov was exciting and new but a huge struggle and wake up call after the euphoria of the victorious Wembley Play Off Final against Tranmere in May,

A hard watch then indeed, in this our first ever season in the League,

Enduring it all, I drummed my way nervously through ev’ry hefty home defeat and rare win with fellow stand-up comedy-less terrace fans at The New Lawn, as Forest Green struggled to adapt to their new League status with the ‘big boys’.

But we never know what’s around the corner in life, love or football , do we.

Our new January recruits and improved results gave us renewed hope of survival on the pitch. But here off the pitch, at home, I found myself suddenly nudged into that sudden A & E reality check world where nothing is as important as the gift of life itself.

I found and find myself then and now, renewing a full time carer role for my life long love, partner and teenage sweetheart of some fifty plus years.

With all that entails, I still, as ridiculous and selfish as it sounds, find myself thinking about football. Is there a cure ? I literally only live a village or so away from the ground..i can be there in 15 mins… but never before has it felt so far.

It’s that , ‘man-up – forget it all and focus’ moment when all the mad and seemingly important things – from points to vegan pies – go out of the window in a flash. As well they should. But hey , bottom line.. or near the bottom of the league as we are….you’re still a fan.

The guilt at wondering what the score is can be immense,,, believe it or not. How dare I. (Confused of Butterrow)

One moment you’re having a laugh with your mates .The next you’re screaming for respite for someone with every living fibre in the innermost part of your being as you run the gamut of deep emotions.
That special place, where the heart wants to give out every ounce of positivity.

Holding your wife’s hand in the surreral environs of endless tests or the space age confines of a vital MRI scan….but the mind still somehow manages to come in and remind you…tactlessly and insensitively… that we’ve just kicked off against Mansfield.

The heart and the mind eh!

It’s still hard here…..but I’ve managed to get to three games though since the New Year though, thanks to our kids who travel to help out. These include 2 great wins against Port Vale and Colchester and a close run defeat to Notts County . I’ll be back for the Chesterfield home crunch survival match on Sat April 21, I think hopefully.

“Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans, ” John Lennon.

When I bump into fellow fans and friends at the ground who I haven’t seen for weeks and they ask. “can you see any light at the end of the tunnel ” – I have to say (as most don’t know what’s going on here ) are you asking about news from home, or whether we’ll stay up!

So all that aside, and making a short poem/story very long, I’ve still somehow had the incredible luxury and footie life-line of ev’ry live match in my ear . This all free on crackly old medium wave (honest) for every game, home and away, here on BBC local radio.

It’s made having the honour of looking after someone you love, where nothing else matters be graced by the treat and welcome respite (as totally and utterly pathetic as it sounds) of not missing out on a huge victory at Cheltenham in El Glosico yesterday. Not to mention all the other games I’ve listened to this season .

Blokes eh? What are we like?

Sometimes, I feel like I’m in some surreal scene from Nick Hornby’s’ Fever Pitch.’

Anyone else had a similar experience out there?

Source: https://footballpoets.org/poems/when-you-cant-be-there/