It was an old Sanyo cassette player

we were friends and I, was an excellent listener

late in the evenings we would huddle together

these were homework days but, instead

with pen in hand (just in case)

I would listen, ear pressed against the speaker

to football matches breathlessly described to me

by my favourite commentators

three men who managed to haul their hearts from their chests

who almost sang those exotic names of my heroes

through the airwaves, to my ear


one of those men died yesterday

he was 67, an age that seems younger to me

the closer I get to it


he spoke with a smile

by all accounts a good man

two remain here, amongst us

one long since outed as a racist

one found to have abused children


pebbles are rolling down the mountains

mountains that birthed them

they pool at the bottom and disappear over time

into the ever-widening cracks of my childhood



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