For My Dad.


You used to take me out in to the garden

when I was no taller than your knee,

you would put me against the gate,

showed me how to stand

and then kick footballs at me

for an hour or two,

it was fun…

no, more than that it was the best

of times.

From there the old potato fields beckoned,

you played there as a boy, near the River Rae

and then you introduced me

to watching live Saturday football,

a visit to St. Andrews, you forced yourself

to sit amongst the ninety

minute enemy,

the pleasure and warmth of Bovril

rolling down the throat

and conversation with your own Dad

a memory long since held in amber, stuck fast

tightly with fondness.

You took me to Maine Road for my debut

in amongst Gods and Kings, Paul Power, Asa Hartford,

the might of Joe Corrigan

an English breakfast by Piccadilly Station

the Cafe now but dust, given way to the future.

From potato fields in Selly Park

to grounds far and wide, days out in Crewe

where I wrote a poem

about you,

our time has revolved around the thrill of the ball

and for that there is no finer thank you.


Ian D. Hall 2017