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Palace of Tears

In the fanfare seasons when we get spoiled,

delight openly weeps.

A change from the usual stress attacks,

brought on by a lack of clean sheets.


Not a tin pot, or F.A. Cup,

or division won in years.

Disappointment sits, stares, and lingers

behind sunken red eyes and blue tears.


Elegantly euphoric promotions,

and grandiose upsets,

take centre stage with stella...

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Fever dream

The pitch so green

Expecting and clean

If only you knew

The wars it had seen



Heroes and villains

Jesters and kings

Death and betrayal

Of dreams so frail 



Hunting the treble

Striving to revel

Flowing with the current

While slaying the giant



Believing the impossible

While discarding the implausible

Hoping, knowing and sewing


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Can Bing Win the Next World Cup (or Euros or Afcon or the Asian Cup)?

A.I. is a saviour and the new soccer sleuth,

here to solve online searches for footballing truth.


So, is the Golden Boot made of real gold?

Can a 47-year-old be trusted to play well in goal?


Did Hungary once feature Bela Lugosi?

Does just turning up get you a World Cup trophy?


How did Scotland qualify for the Euros?

Will there be more dancing in the streets of M...

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artificial intelligencefootball

Keep Football Out of The Bedroom

A tense game played out at top volume.

Weeds three feet high,

make tidy play almost impossible.


A pass back short, away from the defender.

A collective lunge,

the ball skids high over our keeper.


Next thing I know I’m flat on the floor, 

water flying, books, electronics, 

in upended uproar. 


My desperate kick to save one for the team, 

caused me to cras...

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Quality Punditry

Lack of quality in the final third,

is the one phrase I wish I’d never heard.

Trotted out by pundits lost for words,

the useful and useless so casually blurred.


Quality player, quality ball,

Peter please stop, we’ve heard them all.

When City don't score, they hardly ever win,

Michael, cheers for stating the bleeding obvious thing.


Why if a player hits the ball too...

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The Bottom Line

Euro bosses and the Premier League

Have prostituted the game we love

To watch on the BBC and Sky TV,

Collapsed on the sofa with footie fatigue.


As our goalie dons his sponsored gloves,

They switch us to adverts from Bet 365,

“What are the odds, now, that Leeds will survive?”


What price will be paid for Leeds going down,

In gate receipts and player recruitment?


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These Boys

For all the Sunderland fans out there... Aw, just me then! 😆

(one last push)

Hold on! 



Wanting the ball?

This definitely 

Isn't Sunderland at all!

Youth and vigour 

Playing as a TEAM!

Where's the journeymen 

And the greedy has-beens?

These are just younguns 

They can't do owt

Especially now that 

Ross ain't about!

Hold on


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England, low tide

All the fuckin’ country 

is tense about some dead duck football game

tonight at 8 pm (or so I’m told).

The sea it slinked away but turned again

and stealthily manoeuvres to reclaim 

the mudflats populated by the clumsy

clumps of seals. They loiter, lolled 


like slack balloons, like lard

collapsing down to chip fat on the hob.

But we, we sit up straight: our sofa, st...

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The Pride

The Pride



This old and gummy English lion

Feeding on the tears of little girls.

Finding its bravery in packs

Of like-minded scavengers

Who prowl and growl

And claim a foul

For every perceived slight

In history.


Huzzah! Hurrah!

We won a contest

Prejudiced by racist taunts

And sieg-Heil accusations

By the Nazis

Towards the reconciled.


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nationalismracistsfootballenglandthree lionshatredshame

Outside Right

There used to be a game called soccer

At the touchline kids could stand

A haze of heroes 'mid a floodlight glare

Made it the best sport in the land


Then moneymen and bookies took over

The spectacle got stained by money

For off-shore agents and asset-strippers

It became the land of milk and honey


Players lost touch with the public

Fans turned into mere units of ...

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(For Norman Hunter 1943-2020)

His name always evokes a smile
On the faces of footballers
Schooled on the uneven battlefields
Of a different era.

Days of the enthusiastic header,
Demolition shoulder,
Iron obstruction
And scything tackle.

Even those who carry no torch
For Leeds United or England
Today nod in respect
For a player who did as asked

And fulfilled hi...

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Welsh Poets.David Subacchifootball

Why I went back

Why I went back 

A posthumous poem in the voice of Walter Tull – 28.04.1888 to 25.03.1918


Until you’ve been under fire

hunkered down in some funk hole

you’ll never know terror, the horror

or the damage to the soul

that just one barrage can do,

before you ever hear the whistle’s blast

that, sadly it’s true

for all too many,

signals this’ll be your last.



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BiographicalcharacterTrue StoryFact BasedWalter TullBlack HistoryBritish HistoryWorld Warww1The SommeFootballFootballerIbroxSpursNorthampton TownwarThe horror of warThe trenchestrenchesblack BritishBritish ArmyArmySoldierbiography

The beautiful game

It’s only a game

This beautiful game.


There was nothing he liked more than a kick-around with a ball

Down the park or the reccie with his mates

He’d stay out til dark and his mum would moan he was late for his tea.

The lads swapped football stickers and wore team shirts for PE

And when he got the latest home kit for Christmas he was delighted.

Okay there was that time tha...

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Footballbeautful gamedomestic violence

Our Lions

Take down the flags
Wind in the bunting
It's not our time
We know it's not coming
Or shop fronts and homes
Will soon seem empty
But the sea of St George
Will be a glorious memory
Hold your head high
As echoes of cheers ring loud
Faith restored;
You've done us all proud
This time was different
You wrote your own story
A summer of hope
A dalliance with glory
You've brought us passion

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It's not easy being green.

This is an absolute joke.

Where’s the centre-half, gone for a smoke?

It’s looking like we’re gonna get beat,

I’ve kissed good bye to my clean sheet,

midges in my eyes,

dog shit on my feet-

It’s not easy being green.


Nose’s fucked and cheekbone too

got kicked in the face

from that little number 2

rest of the team’s got nothing to do

I’ve saved about hundred, bu...

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footballgoalie's mumthe beautiful gamethe beautiful son



The Ameobi’s,

Big Sam Allardyce

Augustine Okocha

So good they named him twice

Bury, Bulgaria and Bavaria

And everywhere in between

The Battle of Burnden Park

The definition of a team

Stan Collymore

Getting floored

And Campo’s curly wig

Our Danes; Henrik, Per, Bo

Claus, Michael and Stig

England internationals

French Word Cup winners

Getting le...

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once in never outboltonwandererscoywmfootballlife



 So I gets this call from Gareth Southgate

 And he's laying it on like marmalade,

 Saying come back Rooney you've got it made

 Playing for Everton, O what a state!

 I thought your ambition was to be great!

 England's not a problem don't be afraid,

 At Goodison you'll always make the grade,

 So get those three lions back on you mate.


 But I though...

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David Subacchipoetryfootball

The Football

Who would have guessed that a small tree

could be so vicious. All day you had kicked

the new football back and forth against

the gable of the red brick terrace and

not even the promise of ice cream could

coax you away, until the Blackthorn spoilt the game.


That’s when you ran back, holding the thing

with your thumb pressed white against its skin.

You begged me for some...

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David ColdwellfootballMarsdenpoetry for schools

Football's problem - a tee-total football fan's message to UEFA

We've heard sectarian and racist hate
seen a governing body in a sad old state
fans forced to flee flying fists in fear
but football's problem is not just beer.

We've Neo-Nazis, ultras and yobs
most whom must hold decent jobs.
Some come just for the fight I hear
so football's problem can't be just beer.

We over-pay schoolboy prima-donnas
to create cheap imitation Maradonas
for a si...

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On Top!



The Foxes are top of the league
It is all down to Richard III.
They're showing no signs of fatigue
The Foxes are top of the league!
Those foreigners watch with intrigue
It's Leicester, this seems so absurd
The Foxes are top of the league?
Is it all down to Richard III?

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Poem for Germany

Deutschland, Deutschland

über the moon

you won’t be sober

any time soon.


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world cuphumourfootballGermany

the knock

Should have been your boy

back from the game

bag of fish and chips

grin as wide as the Mersey

drunk on youth and sunshine 

still living every pass shot tackle

as he settles down in front of the box

him and the old man each with a can

to watch it all over on Match Of The Day.


Instead, it was coppers

neighbours, friends, the sad-eyed priest

it was sorry for your...

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The Football

David Coldwell reads The Football at the 2013 Derwent Poetry Festival. 

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David ColdwellFootballTemplar PoetryDerwent Poetry Festival

Then the muse of good mood arrived ...

I wasn't in the mood for poetry last night - a bad day at work had made me all grumpy.
But a after large red wine with a pal in my local pub, Hell's Waiting Room, the muse of good spirits came and perched on my shoulder.
So, as it happened, I DID very much enjoy a most life-affirming BARDS poetry session in New Brighton last night.


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After today’s meeting with The Autistic Organisation we’re proud to announce we’ll be working very closely with Richard and his team in building the Manchester branch with projects at the Royal Exchange, at OpenMind events, and an OpenMind vs AO charity football match all on the horizon.


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AOCharityCooperationFootballOpenMindRoyal Exchange TheatreThe Autistic Organisation.

Chelsea Zen Buddhist Haiku

Life starts at the bridge

the End is not the journey

the goals of Juan Mata




Juan to think of for Chelski fans.




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Wembley Woes

courtly choreography

of football ballet

Barcelona teasing

Man United wheezing

English energy


by Spanish skill






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When you wake up right in the middle of a cold cold night

and there's no such a thing as a warm blue light

with hardly anyone around

yet you're still loved

your dreams-


it really seems

your life is made of dreams

we breathe, neither awake nor asleep

our world falling apart, yet there's football on TV

with all there is to come - just how shall an...

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angelfootballchristmasdreamsasleepblue light

World Cup haiku

A vuvuzela

up Mark Lawrenson's backside;

it's what he deserves

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vuvuzelaMark Lawrensonfootball

What a Wonderful Game

(This one's for Ray, and all the others out there) 


Brazil in Mexico;

Bonetti’s blunder and Gazza’s tears;

Pele, Eusebio, Cruyff;

North Korea, when they were plucky, not dangerous and mad;

The often-absent Tartan army;

Beckenbauer’s grace and Zidane’s rage;

Argentina!  Rattin’s dismissal, Maradona’s revenge;

Can Drogba carry Africa’s flag?

Wembley, the ...

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FootballWorld Cup



Not much rain that month they say - May of nineteen-forty-six;

the ache of war, still in the bones, where Cregagh boys kicked tries

down at Malone and dodged the sixes from the next-door cricket pitch. 

Wednesday, the twenty-second, an ordinary Belfast day,

but some alignment of the spheres, some sorcery, conspiracy of Gods,

some fate; a child was born, a boy, blue eyed, da...

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Singing Loud and proud!

Singing loud and proud!


It's Saturday's game

we go away on the train

spirits not dampened

by the torrential rain



Arrive on their patch

like lions in a pack

sometimes attacking

sometimes attacked



Moving on together

that tribal mentality

I know its not right

but it is the reality



Finishing our beers


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