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Boxing Day Blues by Joe O'Neil

Over the festive break, Joe from walking football wrote this great poem that we wanted to share! Walking Football is on a Monday from 12-1pm and is open to everyone - just drop in! Wear comfy clothes and we have boots if you need them.

Boxing Day Blues  by Joe O'Neil (in yellow!)


It's that time of year when we're all upside doon,

Mass is at Midnight dinner at noon,

And you wake in the dark when the birds are still yawning,

But it just doesn't feel like a Monday morning.

Ma football top hangs there already pressed but Grimbo’s aff having a well-earned rest.

Then reality hits, dark thoughts start to run - what's gonna happen between 12:00 o'clock and 1:00?

No tingle of nerves as through the car park you drive,

No rush of excitement as the others arrive,

No sight of the goal posts been rolled in and set,

No Lee hitting long balls into an empty net.

Lake Spartan warriors we enter the scene, embarking on a not-so-rigorous warm-up routine.

We linger-up gently pretending to stretch, then break into groups spread across the pitch.

Start passing the ball with skillful precision - ‘till Harry comes to a final decision and hands out the bibs to determine the teams which are rarely as balanced as they initially seem.

Fine figures of men line up one-and-all, better n’er has kicked a ball.

Sting from legs that can't be paler, Neil draws a puff from his inhaler.

As Howard, who takes us all for fools, provides a recap of the usual rules.

As we all stand shivering in the cold, going grey and getting cold, listening through the rain and drizzle for the long-awaited starting whistle!

Then all at once we’re off and running - sorry walking, there could be more movement and a bit less talking.

Like arrows, balls fly through the air, to shouts from Davey: “feed the bear!”

It builds up slowly, then a canter, developing into friendly banter.

Once or twice tempers boil - but not so much the game to spoil.

Then into the foray steps the man in black awarding a goal from a paltry attack.

Invoking the wrath of more than a few who articulate clearly their own point of view:

“Arrrgh Ref, that can't be right - that pass was over crossbar height!? He ran, he dived, he hit Bear’s crutches and anyway, he had 4 touches!"

The game ebbs and flows and tensions mount we’re resigned to the fact that the Ref can't count.

It’s end to end with goals galore, but does anyone really know the score?

Too soon we reach the climax of this fiery clash - four quarters have passed by in a flash. 

We've taken a battering and a bruising, now’s it’s just added time if Grimbo’s teams losing.

So it's the victors turn to take their bows, then fist- pumps or handshakes as Covid allows. 

And weary legged and out of puff we wonder o’er to collect our stuff.

No matter if you lose or win you throw 2 quid into Dougie’s tin. 

For so much fun at a price price discounted, a bargain like you've n’er encountered.

For some it's time to head for hame, the walking wounded limp and lame.

Some ride their bikes or fancy cars as others head up to the bar for a cup of tea or can of fizz to test their knowledge with a weekly quiz.

And if we can all bear the strain, we’ll be back next week to do it all again.

So, if like me you're feeling soulful - eating yesterday's chipolatas by the bowlful.

You swear no alcohol’s passed your lips but your pulse is racing and your heed still nips,

Before you phone NHS 24, or head down to the local drugstore - take my advice - if it's not the booze it’s probably just a dose of the Boxing Day Blues!