World Cup


Do your hopes live on.
Like Julio Cesar,
You came,
But did not soar
Or conquer.

I offer
Maicon dolences.



Was a World Cup
Could not understand
Roy’s four-week long

Had no interest
In Walter Zenga
Or the thigh strain
Of a Ghanaian

Was tired of the way
She’d pretend her
Marriage wasn’t mashed
Like a frog in a

Thought the chance
Of happiness slender
Whilst Roy continued
His World Cup

Would listen to
Love Me Tender
And hoped Roy might be
Returned to

The Bob Delusion

Every quadrennial
Bob bought a sticker album
In the hope of
Finding himself
Within its pages
And fulfilling an ambition
He’d held for ages
Of playing in the World Cup
Final stages.

Even upon reaching
The age of ninety-three
He would still
Get agitated
For this was a dream
Never abrogated
Despite the fact
He’d had both legs

Bob was something of an optimist.

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.