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year of celebration draws to an end, The
Football Association has today released an Ode
to Football to commemorate its 150th
anniversary. The poem talks of the nation's love
for the game, from a grassroots through to elite
level and captures the emotions experienced by
football fans around the country.
The poem is being released in the week that
marks 150 years since the first game was played
using the laws drafted by Ebenezer Cobb Morley
Entitled 'This is Football', Ode to Football was
commissioned by The FA and written by poet,
author and sportswriter Musa Okwonga. A host of
famous faces have shown their support by
appearing in a video of the ode. Led by England
captain Steven Gerrard, the video also features
other notable football names including Arsene
Wenger, Theo Walcott and Sky Sports' Jim White.
Celebrity football fans Ant and Dec, Dizzee
Rascal, Amanda Holden, Nick Grimshaw and John
Bishop have also delivered lines of the poem.
The video also features footage from The
National Football Museum's film, 'Our Beautiful
Game', the full version of which can be seen by
visitors to the Museum's new galleries in
With nods to legendary Liverpool manager Bill
Shankly and the iconic Match of the Day theme
tune, taking home your team's laundry and
playing online tournaments, the ode features all
the aspects of the game that players and fans
experience week in, week out. The poem also
brings to life the battles fought on the pitch,
the fans cheering and waving scarves, and that
moment a goal is scored. England legends Sir
Geoff Hurst and Paul Gascoigne are the focus of
Love Me Love Football
"It's on every night" my wife
Can't she see that the game fulfils all my dreams? (in HD)
No it's not just a case of men kicking a ball
But a challenging game where they give their all (sometimes)
This argument she can only inflame
By telling me "It's only a game!"
But you see any game and any league
Fills me with awe and other stuff like intrigue
In fairness my wife and kids I do truly love
But please believe me, when push comes to shove
There really is no contest at all
The love of my life will always be Football!
The saddo Webmaster - Malc
Thanks to Glenn Walker for the next two excellent Poems - I can't believe it's nearly
30 years since this tragedy happened. I was at Maine
Road watching City get promoted back to the old first
division beating Charlton 5-1 when the news broke -
May 11 '85
© Glenn Walker
May 11 '85 is etched upon my mind,
A dream became a nightmare and turned happiness to fear,
The day I left my soul behind,
But could not shed a tear.
The sweet perfume of victory became the stench of death,
And whilst my heart beats soundly I never will forget,
From wisp of smoke to no more breath,
It haunts me ever yet.
I came to praise my heroes out on the field of play,
I came to dance and sing and shout, to hold my head up high,
I came to take the pleasures of the day,
I didn't come to die.
The newsreel of my memory plays a matinee,
A reprise of hurt and sadness, of deep remorse and ire,
That I could not help in any way,
The victims of the fire.
I saw the anguish and the pain pervade the burning stand,
I saw the reaper laughing beneath the crimson sky,
And through the flames that panic fanned,
I saw an angel cry.
Rest in peace you Bantams, rest in peace you Imps,
Two cities joined in pain and grief, your memory ever
The game you loved is different since,
The fateful day it perished.
We grieve as one these years gone by and though it can be
We'll close our eyes and bow our heads, so glad to be alive,
We're all alone with just one thought..........May 11 '85.
Sunday, Bloody Sunday
© Glenn Walker
wakes up to the siren of the clock beside his bed,
He rubs his eyes and starts to feel the banging in his head,
It's 8 o'clock on Sunday morn, he's only had five hours,
But he mustn't let his mates down so he summons up his
He drinks a pint of Pepsi Coke to ease the dehydration,
Walks down the road to meet his mates by the petrol station,
Their lift turns up and they all pile in, squashed and
jammed up tight,
The car is filled with pungent smells of beer and curry from
He shouts and swears with all his mates as they change in a
cold, damp room,
The boisterousness holds no bounds, it's Sunday in the tomb,
He strides out through the mist that hugs the rutted council
Up to the centre circle, hand down his shorts, attending to
He tentatively shakes the hand of his foe in black and red,
Then shouts "tails" as the tarnished coin spins above his
He runs, he kicks, he hurts, he spits, his vitriol
He courts displeasure of the man, who is in black bedecked.
He leaves the battered field of play, threatening
Knowing, deep down inside, his worthless contribution,
And afterwards in the bar he's pompous, rude and haughty,
But this is Sunday football and tomorrow he is forty.
He knows his days of mud and blood are nearly at an end,
The paunch that sits upon his belt is now his new best
He'll fill it up with pie and ale until it's fit to burst,
But he will go on drinking to satisfy the thirst.
He staggers off the bus and somehow opens the front door,
He slumps down in the armchair, fag alight and sleeps three
hours or more,
He wakes up to the siren of a fire engine outside
Then cries out loud as he realises... Sunday football has
Celebrate A Hat Trick
by Craig Bradley
(from his book
I like to rhyme it, rhyme it.)
Lick your finger, stick it in the air
wave at the stands and bench over there
punch the sky, wink at the crowd
sing We are champions really, really
dance with your mates and the corner
smile, be happy, the first one's in the
This is more like it, this is getting
you've scored another and everyone's
do the Moonwalk, jump up and down
kiss everybody in the football ground
do the crazy celebration you have
the second goal's great, sweeter than
Pull your shirt over your head, run like
you can't believe you've scored again.
Look at the camera, shout Wayyyyhhaayyy!!!!!
that'll look wicked on Match Of The Day
listen to the fans, they're screaming
it's goal number three, a dream come
Craig pictured on the left.
"This man plays with words and
throws them around like half-bricks,
with fine aim and great effect."
Halifax Evening Courier.
I agree - Malc
Playing Fields of England
Remember when we used to
In the back of a Triumph Herald
A lovely little motor car
Owned by our goalie Gerald.
In the boot he kept the corner flags
The team kit and his boots
Our Sunday morning ritual
Football, and It's grass roots.
We could never use the dressing rooms
They were always out of order
Windows smashed, Showers wrecked
Thanks to vandals and disorder.
All those bleak mid winter mornings
With the weather pretty grim
A large pond surrounds the centre spot
Where the local seagulls swim.
Then the ref would abandon the game
But still claimed his full match fee
Said he could not continue
As his whistle had lost It's pea.
So Gerald would take the nets back down
And I would collect the weekly subs
Twenty teams were in our league
And all of them were pubs.
Fond memories of our playing days
A good team were me and Gerald
Now both of us are past our best
Just like his Triumph Herald.
John Oliver March 07
problem with David Pleat
Begins when he starts to bleat
Not a pundit I’d particularly like to meet
As his voice reminds me of steel on sleet
The punditry’s got me beat
His sentences are rarely complete
Have you heard his verbal mincemeat?
Lord help us when it’s an England defeat
Tactical talk leaves me deadbeat
After ITV promise a footy treat
A head check may reveal concrete
Remember the jigging Kenilworth Road athlete?
Idiosyncratic pronunciation of surnames is so offbeat
Just a dinosaur who is obsolete
Rahman - 03.09.06
"There's a little bit of a South American touch, if that's
not Irish, about this European side, Portugal"
Quite simply the worst pundit on TV.
*Name spelt wrong on purpose.
I agree with Emdad totally (Malc - webmaster)
Ode to a
Man Uni£ed Fan
My Favourite Bands
Boddingtons my Brew.
I’m Manchester in all my tastes.
That’s why I cry Man U
I’ve been Man U, Since 92
Through the ups and ups.
I’ll be Man U, Until the end.
(If they keep winning cups)
And Man Uni£ed's in my blood,
It is my given right.
My Grannies, step niece twice removed,
Once stayed there: over night.
I’m Man Uni£ed in my heart,
I’m Man U to the grain.
( I also live in London town
And speak like Michael Caine )
By David Mitchell
Sunday Night Heroes
Some of them are ancient
some of them are not,
Most of them are past it
how to sprint they have forgot,
In ninety minutes they all feel
like Trautmann, Doyle or Best,
But after in the public bar
they need their stools to rest,
But for a short time
out there on the pitch
the years all fade from site,
They play their best to imitate
a long forgotten inside right,
They shout and scream (mostly Scouse Ron)
and push and shove
like lads of seventeen,
Just to try,
One last time,
What possibly might have been.
Malc Hough - Dedicated to the New Mills Vets
True Sunday Night Heroes
A Liverpool Love Story
Your eyes sparkle
Like a John Barnes trick,
Your hair curls like
A McCallister free kick,
Skin as smooth as a Dalglish turn
My love for you, it burns, it burns.
I see you in dreams,
Your beauty like
A thirty yard, soaring,
Steven Gerrard strike,
And I wake to see your smile,
A smile evoking Hansen’s style.
You give me life,
Give me worth,
So marry me please
Upon Anfield’s hallowed turf,
And I know my mates won’t think it’s cool,
But I love you as much as Liverpool.
© Richie Hession
I always felt like singin' the Blues
(c) Malc Hough
It was the 11th of May down in Moss Side,
A day to remember for all blues with pride,
Certainly for me after fifty years,
A head full of grey and a shed load of tears,
Bell, Lee and Summerbee back for a while,
To remind us of football played with a smile.
All my memories and there are plenty,
Cup games, league games the ground half empty,
Stood with my mates on the open end terrace, (in the pissing rain)
Watching Joe Hayes, George Hannah and Denis the Menace,
This was our team, we'd never be without them,
They were my heroes especially Bert Trautmann
Just to play for City was every boys dream,
Glyn Pardoe did it when he was fifteen,
Mike Doyle was our skipper and I was delighted,
The lad from Stockport always hated Uni£ed,
And when we played them Allison would scream,
Stuff the reds we're Manchester's top team. (just like this season)
But top of the pile was Nijinsky - Colin Bell,
Rodney Marsh was up there as well,
Roy Paul, Ken Barnes, Bill Lievers and David Shawcross,
And players like Tony Coleman who didn't give a toss, (and Stanley
Neil Young, Dave Wagtaffe, Alex Harley and Matt Gray,
Tony Book, Dave Connor I could go on all day.
The ground has all changed now, nothings the same,
My friends all tell me it's a different game,
An arm and a leg for a seat in the ground,
And a cup of oxo costs well over a pound,
But it's a sad old day 'cos we can't come any more,
So will the last one out please drop the latch on the door!!!
See you at Eastlands
or COMS or whatever name they might conjure up to embarrass us. For
me try Maine Road - Malc
Big Nev, Everton swell,
In an Armani collection from hell
Unkempt moustache and uneven sidey
Nev's the patron Saint of untidy
You're the saviour at Goodison Park
You look like you get dressed in the
Your Saturday attire has me in a fit
Does Ray Charles wash and iron your
You are a Welshman for all your sins
And that reminds me you were on the
For a bin man once you'd never guess
But as a Mr Man you'd surely be Mr
An all round expert at memorable saves
A relative stranger to good clean
Goalie supreme for your country Wales
Jacket and trousers from jumble sales
Oh big Nev I feel a sense of shame
for criticising the best keeper in
for this position you truly mastered
but still....you were a scruffy
One of Malc's best
My Footballing Dad - ©
Charlie Hanks (aged 11)
I've got a dad
Who's football mad
And he comes to watch me play.
He shouts and screams
At the players on both teams
Makes me cross for the rest of the day.
He'll yell at me to run
Like a bullet from a gun
Whenever the other team has the ball
He makes me tackle, swerve and pass
And I have to play with class
Or my always perfect dad will be appalled!
He runs up and down
The side like a clown
In his second-hand replica kit (sounds like Tony the cat Gavin....webmasters
His belly hangs out
And wobbles about
Yet he thinks he's incredibly fit. (yes it is the cat)
He complains if we win
Yet he's happy if we're grim
Like when we lost to the bottom club, Deighton.
We were thrashed 12-2
And what did he do?
Just laughed because we'd been beaten!
So when my dad played
I offered my aid
But he didn't want my helpful hints.
So I laughed when I saw
That my dad was so poor
That he hasn't moaned about my team since!
© Charlie Hanks (aged 11) -Sounds a lot like some
of the dads we all know.
Wise words from one so young.
Sonnet for the close season
by Will Shakesbeer
Shall I compare thee to a summers break?
A nasty intrusion to our football watching
When there is not a jot at stake
Save transfer talk and rumour scotching
Thou art more slovenly and more temperamental
Rough winds do shake the snarling duds since May
Enough of the reminiscing and sentimental
You just gotta get out there and play
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines
Yet rarely, such is the inclement weather
And even tho’ skills or fair form sometime declines
Gather ye all and engage together
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see
So long lives this, then there’s life in footy
© Will Shakesbeer July 2002
by Brian K Asbury
extract from : They Think It's All Over
Even More Football Poems chosen by David Orme
Illustrated by Marc S. Vyvyan-Jones
I'm the stud
who got left in the mud
while the others went home on the boot.
I had the bad luck
to get thoroughly stuck
just as everyone shouted out 'Shoot!'
Our goal scoring ace
fell down flat on his face
as he miskicked the ball and spun round.
He pulled at the sludge
but I just wouldn't budge
so he left me behind in the ground.
So now I'm alone.
Everyone has gone home,
and another stud's taking my place.
I'll stay here stuck fast
dreaming of glories past
till the grass grows and covers my face.
(Brian K. Asbury)
FOOTBALL IN THE TRENCHES
When War broke out, the British public cried
“We’ll be in Berlin by Christmas”. But
By Christmas hundreds of thousands had died,
As Mons, The Marne, Ypres and Messine cut
Down the youth of Europe, while Flanders’ flood
Drowned dying, dead and alive. Summer’s dream
Was swamped by winter’s mud, rats, death and blood
In No Man’s Land; a hell hole night mare scene
Of jagged wire, flares, shells, screams and shrapnel,
(A choreographed commonality
That saw each side’s men attack, flail and fall
In ceaseless dance of death’s banality)
Until, at Christmas, nineteen fourteen, when
Hamburg, Berlin, London and Manchester
Said “No!” to the killing fields’ mad mayhem
Ordered by Kaiser, Flag, Map and Officer,
And met instead in friendship, walking tall
And slow, comrades in war’s adversities,
They embraced in No Man’s Land and Football
Harmonised nations’ animosities;
And what if the playing of the Peoples’ Game
Had continued beyond that Christmas time?
What on earth would have happened next?
Well, I suggest to you that none of the following
Would have occurred –
The Battle of the Somme; Verdun; The Bolshevik Revolution;
The Russian Civil War; Stalin; Hitler; Fascism; World War Two;
Nuclear weapons; the Cold War; Remembrance Day;
Think about it.
And play the Peoples’ Game.
© Stuart Butler - 2000
Bertie Falstead aged 17 and below 110
Sadley Bert passed away in 2004 but
he lives in my heart for ever.
The Questions of Sport
Will anyone come up with the answers
To the the toughest questions there are?
Would Man City have won the title
If they hadn't hadn't signed Marsh from QPR?
Would England have won the world cup
If Banks hadn't touched that beer?
If Leeds had kept hold of Cantona
Would they win the title year after year?
Would Gazza be the best player ever
Considering he's such a silly bugger?
And if pigs' bladders weren't round but oval
Would we all now be playing bloody rugger?
No-one calls you Donkey anymore,
Only a fool,
Long gone are the days
When you acted the mule.
You did your time
Didn’t you Tony,
And emerged from your cell
A completely new pony.
You worked and you trained,
Completed the course.
Turned yourself into
A thoroughbred racehorse.
Now time is moving on,
You’ll soon be put out to stud.
You’ve grafted and worked
Through the rain and mud.
Your limbs are aching,
Tired and sore,
But be proud.
No-one calls you donkey anymore.
By - Richie Hession
|Poems penned by myself or credited authors,
or selected from the web,
my favourite site being