Graham Poll’s Alphabet

Posted: July 10, 2006 in General Football Verse

BBC Five Live asked me to write a few poems during World Cup 2006. Looking back now, the one I’m particularly proud of is the one I performed the day after the Australia v. Croatia game, Graham Poll’s infamous  “three yellows make one red” fiasco. It’s based on a great original poem, The Referee’s Alphabet  by Nigel Blackwell of Half Man Half Biscuit, to whom apologies and many plaudits are due.

Graham Poll’s Alphabet

A is for Australians, so friendly to me
B is for Being Britain’s Biggest-name Referee

C is for Counting Cards and Cursing Croatians
D is for Diving, AKA simulation

E is EVERYTHING, which thanks to ME this game had
F is for Fourth Official – his night was just as bad !

G is for Ghost writer – I’m going to need one
H is my Hero – Clive Thomas I’m modelled on

I is for Intentional, which handball needs to be
And for Invisible, which it often is to me

J is the Jet Plane that I’m leaving on
K is for K.O-ed, my final hopes, GONE !

L, of Course is for Letting the game Flow
& L is the fine LINE to Losing Control

M is for Mark Viduka, and our mutual admiration
N is non-verbal, I don’t speak Croatian

O is for my forthcoming Optician’s appointment
Pre-booked, 10th July, pass me the Ointment

P is for being Pushed, isn’t that a Red card ?
Maybe, but showing 2 cards at once is so hard.

Q is for Questioning my parentage, and decisions
R is for Rugby tackles in unsighted positions

S is for Sepp Blatter, such a tactful fellow
and T is for a groundbreaking Triple Yellow

U is Unclear. Unrepentant. Unconsoleable
V is for Video Refs, to make things controllable.

W is the World Cup Final Whistler. Woe is me !
and X is for being an X-referee

X is also the Xmas card lists I won’t be on
Like ex-Yugoslavia my name is …. gone

and Y are the former Yugoslavians, Yelling at me,
and Z is Zagreb, where I’ll never again referee

Or Zeljko, Ozzie keeper, another comedy act.
Or Zlatko, the Croatian boss, like me – sacked.


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