Poem – Nobby Stiles

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.

NOBBY STILES AND THE ALIEN EYES
( For Nobby Stiles )

We think of you toothless and dancing,
Socks down, Jules Rimet in your hands
Tough in the tackles, uncompromising
But utterly joyful in ecstatic celebration

But we do not think of you sightless.
True, we remember the off pitch glasses
The civilian windows
But not your contact lenses …

Those alien eyes
Like lenses without spectacle frames
Suction padded plastic to fit over the whole of the eye
They saw you through to a World Cup Final

And therefore saw us through to a World Cup Final,
A World Cup Final victory
And your victory dance –
Truly, a sight for our sore eyes

Paul Cookson