Marriott Edgar

Here you will find the Long Poem Goalkeeper Joe of poet Marriott Edgar

Goalkeeper Joe

Joe Dunn were a bobby for football 
He gave all his time to that sport, 
He played for the West Wigan Whippets, 
On days when they turned out one short. 

He?d been member of club for three seasons 
And had grumbled again and again, 
Cos he found only time that they?d used him, 
Were when it were pouring with rain! 

He felt as his talents were wasted 
When each week his job seemed to be 
No but minding the clothes for the others 
And chucking clods at referee! 

So next time selection committee 
Came round to ask him for his sub 
He told them if they didn?t play him, 
He?d transfer to some other club. 

Committee they coaxed and cudgelled him 
But found he?d have none of their shifts 
So they promised to play him next weekend 
In match against Todmorden Swifts. 

This match were the plum of the season 
An annual fixture it stood, 
`T were reckoned as good as a cup tie 
By them as liked plenty of blood! 

The day of the match dawned in splendour 
A beautiful morning it were 
With a fog drifting up from the brick fields 
And a drizzle of rain in the air. 

The Whippets made Joe their goalkeeper 
A thing as weren?t wanted at all 
For they knew once battle had started 
They?d have no time to mess with the ball! 

Joe stood by the goal posts and shivered 
While the fog round his legs seemed to creep 
'Til feeling neglected and lonely 
He leant back and went fast asleep. 

He dreamt he were playing at Wembley 
And t?roar of a thundering cheer 
He were kicking a goal for the Whippets 
When he woke with a clout in his ear! 

He found 'twere the ball that had struck him 
And inside the net there it lay 
But as no one had seen this `ere `appen 
He punted it back into play! 

'Twere the first ball he?d punted in anger 
His feelings he couldn?t restrain 
Forgetting as he were goalkeeper 
He ran out and kicked it again! 

Then after the ball like a rabbit 
He rushed down the field full of pride 
He reckoned if nobody stopped him 
Then `appen he?d score for his side. 

`Alf way down he bumped into his captain 
Who weren?t going to let him go by 
But Joe, like Horatio Nelson 
Put a fist to the Captain?s blind eye! 

On he went 'til the goal lay before him 
Then stopping to get himself set 
He steadied the ball, and then kicked it 
And landed it right in the net! 

The fog seemed to lift at that moment 
And all eyes were turned on the lad 
The Whippets seemed kind of dumbfounded 
While the Swifts started cheering like mad! 

'Twere his own goal as he?d kicked the ball through 
He?d scored for his foes `gainst his friends
For he?d slept through the referee?s whistle 
And at half time he hadn?t changed ends! 

Joe was transferred from the West Wigan Whippets 
To the Todmorden Swifts, where you?ll see 
Still minding the clothes for the others 
And chucking clods at referee!