• 20/09/2023

Stealing Thunder by Chris Towers - September 2023

I could smell strawberry smoked vapor as a queue

for silver foiled pies snaked before me,  tea boiled

and others devoured steak and ale with warm beer.


Club directors strolled  down steps from red painted

porta- cabins , looking like Duplo or Lego structures

from a lost youth. On the ground,


a cacophony of sound to my ears with squealing kids

with shouts and run arounds, enjoying the last rites of

summer holidays, yearning in yellow boots for half-time


penalties. Moving clip, clop- then swarming like flies

around a bottle top, before gathering around the pitch

like ants around skirting boards.


Stocksbridge deposited two goals in the Sheffield net, 

the first after a clash of bodies with the ball dribbling in

almost as an afterthought and the second glanced to net,


sent past a ‘keeper, rooted to the spot, rueing

his lot, as I watched from a corner behind the goal.

A  Stocksbridge supporter, with a white, green


and blue flag, a Robert the Bruce, with his

full beard, stood stoutly, watching a tide of 

home side raids , bearing down upon their goal.


Sheffield stole Stocksbridge thunder, putting steels

hopes asunder as the clouds amassed, light fading

fast and the home side lengthening strides.


Crosses pumped in from speedy wingers, fed to

heads as solid as lead  and firm as tabletops made

of the strongest oak.


Their third goal headed in before the player tumbled

and then rolled forward  like a barrel of beer down

a hill with legs and arms gathering as he rose.


A fourth goal, an angled header , and as the netting

shook the striker flew with aeroplane arms to his 

mates, before the referee blew three whistles,


and players disappeared down a red , crimped canvas

tunnel, which looked like a caterpillar, with smiles

for Sheffield as the sky darkened.