The Kop End Roars On Kirkdale Road.

The taxi had ground to a halt

somewhere down the Kirkdale Road,

hurrying home now in jeopardy, now a part

of the routine

of travelling and being ill

as bones shook to death,

out of the corner of my eye,

I saw a young lad, no more than eight

and small, Gerard sized, packing a wallop

with a ball against his parents’

wall and no doubt making the vase,

brought as a present by an aunt with no taste,

all kaleidoscope and narrow lip,

wobble on a hastily put up shelf.


As the engine ran, this young Gerard,

in my day only Steve Heighway would have done,

popped the ball with a neat chip

into the solitary hanging basket

and there it stuck, eighteen inches out of reach,

top of the net, a goal scored, the begonia rippled

and The Kop roared in delight, another Cup Final win secured,

then whispered as the boy realised he could not get the ball back down,

nestled perfectly like Trevor Brooking’s shot against the Hungarians.

For five minutes the Taxi ran silently still,

the road ahead blocked, tackled, no way through on this highway

and as each minute passed the boy

tried everything in his power to get the ball back down,

and as finally the whistle was blown, the taxi revved

I saw him find his father’s fishing net, a line crossed,

tackled again and swipe with fury down on goal…


Ian D. Hall 2017