Every since I was a young girl I watched lads chase the ball
From playground to park to stadium and even the church hall(!)¹
My father tried to interest me, my brother having failed
To raise his enthusiasm for this game of Alpha Males.
(That said, he followed suit with a love of ballroom dancing,
Now trained and accomplished, still proudly advancing).
Dad was scouted for West Ham- but that was decades back:
He turned them down to keep his apprenticeship on track,
Perhaps in quieter moments, regretting this submission
His trade and stability versus short-term competition,
A situation further vexed by his only son’s rejection
Of all forms of sporting pursuit, with that noteable exception.
But having been co-opted to BHAFC
I’m sat there in the pub somewhat voluntarily…
Awaiting the next fixture with acquired anticipation
Sharing hope for victory with the local population
And in a quiet moment, remembering my dad
Wondering, if he knew, would he secretly be glad..?
This team, I grant you, the only one I know
Co-opted by my beloved: faithful fan through highs and lows,
Teaching me across the years when to groan and when to cheer,
How to share the common joy of this National game for men and boys-
Not forgetting the Women’s squad, who’ve done themselves proud
With considerably less financial incentive and very much smaller crowds…
So, well done to the lads of my home town’s team
-Just remember in a quiet moment
These days women share the dream!
¹ and a nod to this- which refused to be humbled to a published link…