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


  1. Playing at 42 C How did you do that?
    Super poem you did warm me up with this
    The netherlands and New Zealand are both playing We will have to go to the dutch cafe
    to see it because NZ isn't a soccer country

  2. Bravo, such speed with which to present us with your truly unforgettable moment.

  3. Thanks to:
    Marja; Kiwi's shouldn't cause much trouble, bit the Dutch will be a handful.
    ViV; I also once played 'international' cricket in Goa. 52 not out.
    Gautami; The heat was really on.
    Jingle; Amazing!

  4. I know not a thing about soccer but I like this a lot! ;)

  5. A truly unforgettable moment! Well played!

  6. Thanks to:
    Pamela; It's a gentleman's game, played by hooligans - whereas Rugby is a hooligans game, played by gentlemen... or so the saying goes.
    Marianne; It was actually 8 years ago, before the 2002 World cup. Seems like only yesterday.

  7. How damned cool is that Stan!!! What an incredible moment(s) in your life -- and unforgettable for sure... ;)


  8. Thanks Rob; Cool for sure, in a very surreal way.

  9. Beautiful game, certainly surreal--but real! Definitely unforgettable. Thanks for sharing, Stan.

  10. Thanks Brenda; I've hung up my boots now.

  11. How amazing is that! What a moment for you...you captured the excitement, not only of the game, but of your memories and feelings about being Number One (ok, nineteen, but...still). Bravo, Stan.

  12. Thanks Linda; My fifteen minutes of fame.

  13. I enjoyed your poem, Stan. It made me smile broadly as I read to its conclusion. Definitely would be a good feeling once in a lifetime perhaps to be "Man of the Match."


  14. Incredible! Definitely an event you'll never forget! Kudos to you! By the way, I enjoyed 'meeting' your family and your latest dog!

  15. Wow! Living in a household with two soccer fanatics, I know that this must have been a "most awesome" moment.