Bordeaux Bay

Bordeaux Bay
Watercolour by Tony Taylor http://www.paintingbreaksguernsey.com

Sunday, 15 January 2017

SHOOTING STAR

In my early teens, many of my heroes were footballers and one of these was the legendary Tom Finney, star of Preston North End and England.
Finney, a prolific goal-scorer, played more than 500 games for his club and 76 times for England.
His first international appearance was against Northern Ireland at Windsor Park, Belfast.

In 2004 Tom Finney unveiled the impressive sculpture The Splash, which stands outside The National Football Museum in Preston

The Splash by Peter Hodgkinson

The sculpture was inspired by the 1956 Sports Photograph of the Year which features Finney beating two defenders on a waterlogged pitch.
Tom Finney died aged 91 in 2014.
In the following poem, I imagine him, in his later years, walking through leaves in his local park.





















FINNEY IN AUTUMN

An old gent,
in a park at autumn’s end,
ankle-deep in leaves
that hide a pathway’s ordered edges:
a snail with rounded back,
and checkered cap pulled down.
Another lonely moocher.                       
                                                 

But watch ...
 

he seems to suddenly  
become alert, 
tilt shoulders, left then right,
to heed a shout, inaudible ... Go Tom!

 
then shuffles, zig-zag, through crisp leaves,
a leather ball, invisible, 

his to command,
the trees, bewitched defenders
turned to stone.

 

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