Taken from the Guardian’s Fiver daily Footy related email
This is simply brilliant…. It obviously is based on Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, which is also the inspiration for one of Iron Maiden’s finest songs ever.
The ‘poem’ below concerns a certain goalkeeper of Bertie persuasion…
It is a lonely Hartdog
And he stoppeth one of three
By thy spiked yellow hair and grizzling eye
Now wherefore stopp’st thou Ruddy?
The opposing winger in possession out wide
He’s going to cross it in
The eyes are met, the feet are set
May’st it’s in at the near post, fin.
Holding crumpled face with skinny hand
“I used to be good,” quoth he.
“Hold off! unhand me, loon!” it replies
Eftsoons his manager drop he.
Next trusts upon his quivering eye
Defence all standing still
Charging out like a three years’ child:
The Hartdog hath his will.
The people were cheered, the ball not cleared
Merrily he was dropped
Though Head and Shoulders were very much sad
His hair just freshly cropped.
Fraser Forster came from behind
Out of the Queen’s C came he!
Alliterative name, but straight untried
And from that very Queen’s C.
And now there came both Chile and Teut
With heat, yet burning cold
Superior zests, ambitious zests,
The weak attempting bold.
The cold was here, the cold was there
The cold was all around
Responses missed and failed and bragged
Like noises in a swound!
At length appeared a young Andros,
Through the fog he came;
As if he had been a big brass band
All hailed him in God’s name.
He took the shots he ne’er had made,
And up and down he ran.
The cold did split with the rasping wit
Of analogous monkey yarn.
'God save thee, lonely Hartdog!
From the yips that plague thee thus! –
Why look’st thou so?’ – With your cross-bow
You shot that young Andros.
And you had done a hellish thing
And it would bring you woe:
For all you linger, you had killed the winger
That took you to Rio.
Ah wretch! said they, the man to slay,
That took you to Rio.
The water snakes did come and go
Thus Hartdog did repent
Self-awarded nickname no more had he
As just Joe Hart, he went.
The bullish interviews were no more,
Stage-managed candour dead.
Thus crosses could be caught, near posts protected,
Blood ceased rushing to head.
Dropped like one that hath been stunned,
An ego much forlorn:
A sadder and a wiser man,
But still speaking in a yawn.
Picking the car up.
Left the house about 09:20, and caught the bus, which dropped me off right by the station. Had a bit of help getting the tickets out if the self service machine, then got the train to Cov. Standing room only. Very busy train going to Mcr Piccadilly. Got off at Cov, then caught the Euston train with 2 minutes to spare. Found a seat easily. Old couple sat opposite - well he fell asleep, with his mouth (sans teeth OR dentures) wide open. The most gruesome thing I’ve seen in quite a while! Got off at Watford and merely had to traverse a single platform (of which there are 9 (!) at Watford and another 2 minute wait for the final train trip to Hemel Heampsted. Caught a taxi to the Steering Developments HQ and immediately bumped into the lovely Niki! We spent 10 minutes catching up - she was unaware of the last 3 years experiences. Then I spoke to Tina and the Mechanic Mick who showed me the corroded part of the windscreen frame that had been letting water in. All patched up now with waterproof duct tape, but it’ll need looking at soon. I paid for the work they’d done this week (ouch!) then Mick came out with me to fill the car up at the nearest garage (£68 for a full tank, which wasn’t half as bad as I’d been expecting! I dropped him back at the workshop then headed for a rather rainy M1, having first fired up my new sat nav. Trip up was slow in places, but I had the Pink Floyd Trance Remixes CDs in my auto changer so Obscured by Clouds and part of Animals got an airing on the journey up. Went on the M45 for the first time, then headed through Ryton upon Dunsmore on the A45. Negotiated Leamington successfully and parked up, a happy bunny! Then I thought I’d better write this 😄😎