Brian Bilston’s World Cup Poetry Sticker Album

Grilled Panini

After a bottle of gin
And a bottle of rum
You put my World Cup 78 album
Under the grill
And did it ill
Before passarelling out
On the carpet.

Both the Argentine squad section
And you
Were beyond redemption.
(You: non compos mentis.
Me: sine Mario Kempes)

Never mix liquors
And football stickers.


Angola (2006)

With apologies to Ray Davies

I was sitting in a pub down in old Soho,
Having failed for the tenth time to read Thérèse Raquin by Émile Zola.
Zed-oh-el-ay Zola

I was flicking through the pages of my World Cup guide
When I stumbled on the team I wanted to be my side – named Angola.
An-gee-oh-el-ay Angola
La-la-la Angola

Well, I’m not the world’s biggest football fan
But when I saw them there I developed a plan to cheer Angola.
An-gee-oh-el-ay Angola
La-la-la Angola

So I jumped straight up and went and bought me a shirt,
Red was the colour with some black and yellow stripes for Angola.
La-la-la Angola
La-la-la Angola

When the World Cup started I couldn’t sleep at night,
In Group D things were getting really tight,
We lost our first game but things started looking up
And when we drew our next match you’d think we’d won the Cup.

Well, I’m not the world’s biggest football fan
But when I saw that team then I really fell for Angola.
La-la-la Angola
La-la-la Angola
La-la-la Angola
La-la-la Angola

We needed to beat Iran
We were tied at one-all
I fell to the floor
I got down on my knees
And I prayed to God but he didn’t hear me.

Well, that’s the way that the scoreline stayed
And so that was the final game that they played, poor Angola.

The game’s a cruel mistress but I still love her the same
And it’s a mixed up muddled up football world except for Angola.


Gazza’s Tears

In the Turin backstreets,
Shrouded in mystery,
Is a huckster who hawks
Artefacts from history.
If you’re after an item
Of religious regalia,
The old man will have it,
He’ll be unlikely to fail yer.

He has some crucifix nails
And Mary Magdalen’s shawl,
At least three crowns of thorns
And the letters of St Paul.
He’s got the robes of Pope Leo,
John the Baptist’s cellphone,
And all Ten Commandments
Carved into stone.

But of the things down the years
He’s managed to purloin,
The pièce de résistance
Are the tears of Gascoigne,
Collected together
In an old azure tin,
From the time Gazza broke down
One night in Turin.


The Peruvian 1978 World Cup Song

We are Peru and we’re going to win the Cup,
We’ve got a point or two to prove!
Yes, we’re Peru and we’re a team on the up
And we’re very, very good at the pass and move!

We are Peru and we’re the best team around
For we have Teófilo Cubillas and Héctor Chumpitaz!
We are Peru and our fans make loud sound,
We even have some very excellent trumpeters!

We are Peru and we come from a land
Where we like to mix altitude with attitude!
If you don’t know Peru then just let us expand,
10° 00′ S and 76° 00′ W is our longitude and latitude!

We are Peru and we’re gonna win the Cup,
We’re there on the map if you peruse!
Yes, we’re Peru and we never give up,
There’s no way at all we can lose!

We are Peru!

We are Peru!