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.

( For Jack Charlton )

A giant standing proud and tall
A brick in our unbeaten wall
All for one and one for all
Big Jack at the back

Solid base and firm foundation
A rock in every situation
He’s a favourite of the nation
Big Jack at the back

Uncomplicated, strong and tough
Uncompromising northern bluff
No-one’s made of sterner stuff
Big Jack at the back

A defender to depend on
Strong of sinew, tough of tendon
He’s the one you love to send on
Big Jack at the back

Lion hearted do or die-er
He’s the one who can inspire
In his belly burns a fire
Big Jack at the back

He’s a winner, not a loser
He’s a rough ‘em, tough ‘em bruiser
He’s a goalscorer’s confuser
Big Jack at the back