Poem – With These Hands

(For Neville Southall)

With those hands you saved us a million times or more
Larger than life, safe as houses
In you we trust

With those hands, reinforced by steel
The size of shove blades
Solid as a rock

Not centre stage for you – but central to success
No limelight desired – our reluctant star
The firm foundation from whence we prospered

With those hands, larger than life
Opponents kept at bay, you got everything in the way
A one man wall

With those hands you led from the back
Last line of defence, first line of attack
No equal or weakness

Always your own man, unswayed by opinion
Deceptively simple, naturally humble
One of Goodison’s favouite ever sons

With those hands you kept our dreams alive
Synonymous with excellence
Perfect in your preparation

With those hands you held our world
Safe and omnipotent
There will only ever be one

Neville Southall

Paul Cookson