Their Beautiful Game
'Your daddy fought with the hooligans, son.'
Tom Harbottle | 10 November 2016

The heavy air hangs over the stadium to watch it waken from its slumber.

It is the eve of battle.

It awaits its hooligans.


The oddness of bears and lions

Facing each other in ritualistic bands

Chanting their devilish cries.

Carrying the raven on their lilied shoulders

As they trudge past their own respect.

It is a long way down to the ropes of war but no one bothers to stop.

But this game is an excuse for fruitful violence.


A game? A simple game,

Fathering all this dense cloud of hate.

How satisfyingly

How triumphantly

They think they have celebrated “The Beautiful Game”.


Both sides shout and bang against the stadium, drowning the crowd with sounds of war drums to the beat of the stone prison all around them. They tear and writhe at the thought of innocent blood.

But that blood is less innocent than the claws it feeds.


It is a dance remembered, mimicked through the ages.

Danced by men of forgotten unity.

What would their children think?

But remember this:

Your daddy fought with the hooligans, son.


Image sourced under Creative Commons license.

James Routledge 2016