LEADERS - not followers

Saturday, June 5, 2010


For Writers Island #6 2010


Gentle persuasion; Sato
Signed me up for the team
Annual grudge-match to play
Village versus Village
Ten thirty in the morning
Forty two Celsius
Kick-off time Fourteen Hundred!
Subs bench suited me fine
More sandpit than playing field
But a real stadium
Two thousand-plus attendance
Down one side of the pitch
Cheerleaders, gaudily clad
Clash of the sound Systems
Simultaneous routines
Psychedelic costumes
Searing heat, Sato combined
Acid-free Acid-trip
Famous for the afternoon
Signing my autograph
It was a funny old game
Both teams equally bad
Evenly unbalanced match
Half-time score line nil-nil
Neither goalkeeper tested
Second half, much the same
Couple of long-range efforts
With full time beckoning
A substitution required
Star striker injury
Not so ‘super’ sub Stan Ski
Enters, number nineteen
Unbelievably, I scored
My first touch of the ball
Running in to trap a cross
In the box with left foot
Ball struck me on the right knee
Confused the goalkeeper
Bounced in the net off the post
One-nil to our village
Farang! Farang!’ came the cry
Just five minutes later
I put the game beyond doubt
An amazing feeling
I could hardly believe it
They were all amazed too
Stumbled on a poor clearance
Stuck my leg out and watched
Ball bobbled in slow motion
Into the onion bag
Triggered a pitch invasion
Game had to be held up
Teenage girls in Man U shirts
Screaming “Beckham Isan!”
Then the final whistle blew
We’d won the game two-nil
Both teams raced to shake my hand
I was Man of The Match
Score line somewhat flattering
For a match that had done
Absolutely not a thing
Whatever to enhance
The well-earned reputation
Of The Beautiful Game

Sato is home-brewed Rice Wine
Farang means Foreigner
Beckham Isan - David Beckham of North-East Thailand