Watching England with Carol Ann Duffy

It seems like a dream now:

the 1-4 scoreline;

Lampard’s goal that never was;

watching the game with Carol Ann Duffy.


She turned up amid the half-time gloom

in a Ludlow pub, asked if it was ok

to sit near the TV. I made some crack

about political-historical contexts

and Nazi fugitives, and why

Uruguayan officials favour Germans.

She half-smiled: that’s when I guessed. 


The sort of joke you only make watching footie.

Sport and literature don’t mix,

well, not in my book. But I peppered the goal

 with witty apercus, thinking England’s

laureate might write about the Three Lions

who had watched the match with her,

read it that night at the festival.


She didn’t, of course. Although at one point

she did ask if Crouch had come on.

The referee blew. Did England’s worst

World Cup finals beating mean

I should give up football for poetry?

The camera lingered on Capello, the tabloid target.

He should be carrying an umbrella, she said. 

◄ Lest They Forget

The wind in the dark ►


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Stephen Gospage

Sun 4th Dec 2022 10:06

Worth re-posting, Greg. Interesting that technology hasn't solved all the problems of goal-line decisions, as shown in Japan's 'win' over Spain.

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Greg Freeman

Fri 2nd Dec 2022 08:33

I may have re-posted this before! But worth remembering the time a wrong World Cup decision about whether the ball had crossed the line DID favour the Germans. Included in my 2021 collection Marples Must Go!, as it happens

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