@MattAbbottPoet

@MattAbbottPoet
Image © Copyright Amy Charles Media 2014

20 Aug 2014

Roy of the Rovers


He'd not expected to find much.
To tell you the truth he was just killing time.
Lanyard flapping as he walked down Wood Street;
the plastic branded shackle on his neck.
A badly pixelated photograph
that makes him look a bit like a convict
who'd both shat himself with a death glare
at exactly the same time.

As he entered the shop,
he could hear the old Ferguson radiogram;
just like the one his Dad used to own.
The lad behind the counter must be maybe 25,
but he's playing The Kinks' 'Ultimate Collection',
and he looks a bit like a forgotten man from Don Revie's Leeds.
Don Revie's "Dirty Leeds".

A couple of rails of vintage clothes;
Fred Perry, Lacoste, the usual suspects.
A cream Harrington. Levi's denim jackets.
All well and good, but if he were to go and buy one,
the Mrs would only go and make him return it.
Rolling eyes, not Rolling Stones.
"You can't wear that with a bald patch."

He was just about to leave, to tell you the truth;
maybe waste a quid or two in Ladbrokes.
And then he saw them, tucked amongst a makeshift display;
no more than 4 feet tall and fairly inconspicuous.
Hidden amongst the Marvels and the DCs and the annuals, there he sat:
Roy of the Rovers.

The Kinks were rendered silent.
The rails of clothes were blowing in the wind,
and his bald patch was a blond mass of curls.
The issue is from the 1st of June, 1985.
It cost 24p in the UK, 65c in Australia and New Zealand, and $1.45 in Malaysia.
Liam Brady's colour poster waiting in the centrefold.

Cherishing this artefact that amplified his youth,
Brian has to wipe away a tear.
It's in a sealed plastic wallet, but there's no need to look inside.
He knows it almost word for word, and the images come flooding back.
Despite Roy's devastating injury, Melchester beat Real Santana in a dramatic penalty shootout.
The revered Rovers hoist the European Cup Winners' Cup aloft.
Back of the bloody net!


He places the comic on the table,
and checks his watch for the time.

Taking his glasses off for a second,
he gives it the old thumb and forefinger,
but it's fairly clear that the daft sod's welling up.
Knowing that the lad on the counter will more than likely notice,
Brian can't help but feeling like a complete and utter tit.

But as he strolls back down Wood Street,
for the remainder of his lunch,
a couple of tears are replaced by a beaming smile.

Roy of the Rovers is back in town;
Brian's mind at ease,
and his lanyard gently swaying
in the soft summer breeze.



1 comment:

  1. Brilliant Matt, another classic, well done!

    ReplyDelete