Poem – Jimmy Greaves

THE WORLD CUP
I did have an idea to celebrate 40 years since 1966. I wanted to get 11 poets to write 11 poems about the team of ’66. However, I couldn’t get a publisher or sponsor interested, so in the end I wrote a series of poems myself. They are everyman recollections that try and capture something of the men, the magnitude, the mood and the memories. You can click on the names on the image to see the poems.

AND I OFTEN WONDER WHETHER JIMMY GRIEVES
( For Jimmy Greaves )
 
Unequalled in his record, the ratio of goals scored
Unrivalled and unbeaten, universally adored
Defenders left at sea with the tangled web he weaves
And I often wonder – whether Jimmy grieves

A member of the squad but not the final team
Injury’s bad timing shattering the dream
No World Cup winner’s medal, nothing he receives
And I often wonder – whether Jimmy grieves

Central to the team and central to the story
He missed the final chapter, missed out on the glory
Can he join the joy of what his team achieves
And I often wonder – whether Jimmy grieves

He had earned the right, the red was his to wear
If substitutes had been allowed then surely he’d be there
Worthy of the prize – everyone believes
And often wonder – whether Jimmy grieves

Should we remember more, the legacy he leaves
A situation difficult that nobody retrieves
The disappointment of the prize circumstances thieves
And I often wonder  – whether Jimmy grieves

PAUL COOKSON