Football, cricket and darts: our tribute to National Poetry Day

To coincide with National Poetry Day in the UK, we pay homage to the great art of verse with some of our favourite sporting poems.

Football, cricket and darts: our tribute to National Poetry Day

To celebrate National Poetry Day in the UK, we share with you four sporting themed poems celebrating Big Sam's departure as England manager, an ode to darts legend Jocky Wilson, a homage to cricket by Harold Pinter and St Pauli fan Gunther Grass with his "Stadium by Night".

Allardyce Lost

(Jim Dolbear)

There was a man called Sam.
Who said he was up for a scam.
He took the bait,
Now it’s too late.
The F. A. has told him to scram.

(courtesy of the excellent Football Poets (Swapping shirts with Shakespeare)

Sin tituloFormer England national football team manager Sam Allardyce

Jocky Wilson Says

If I made it as far as Purgatory, I'd swap Virgil for Jocky Wilson,
dark locked Achilles of the dart.
Unlike Eros and other gods, he knew what he was throwing at
holding the moment like a silver quivered space shot
bound for the centre of the universe our it's outer limits, quitting the oche
with a who-gives-a -flying-fuck acrylic strut through the gloom
to a temple of pints and chasers wreathed in delphic Rothmans.
Now in Paradise all they talk about is how many angels sit on the tips
of Jocky's tungsten arrows.

Jocky Wilson prepares to throw a dart during the British Open.

A Cricket Poem

(Harold Pinter)

I saw Len Hutton in his prime,
Another time,
another time.

Harold Pinter

Stadium by Night 

(Gunther Grass)

Slowly the football rose in the sky
Now it could be seen that the stands were packed.
Alone the poet stood at the goal
But the referee whistled; Off-side.

German author and Nobel literature laureate Guenter Grass signs books and gives interviews at the Leipzig Book Fair.