• 02/08/2023
Richard Tims at The Transport Club

I saw Sheffield players, black shirts, and shorts,

chaperoned  by coaches, forming circles,

protecting their herd in the spits of rain,


as a Union Jack flapped around a pole,

in moist air above the transport club house,

flickering with gusto in the chill winds.


The weathered fields were scattered with goalposts,

left behinds of local games, placed in long

grasses, sitting in the rain-soaked shrub land.


An aerial from a radio station,

protruded from a portacabin roof,

like  a long slim whisker from a cat’s face,


as blue buses circled meadow head island,

sweeping around and down to the city,                                  

with passengers in unseasonal coats,


bussed to Lowedges, Woodhouse Cross and Dore,         

finding solace from chatter in the snug,

from the squally rains of a mid-summer.


As the club house stood like a sandcastle,

alone on the beach, waiting for the tide,

waiting for waters to wash it away.


But Sheffield expects bulldozers to come,

to clear these spaces, and make them   places,

to claim these fairer fields and make them home.


To build a ground fit for the oldest club,

built in the spirit of Chadwick and Prest,

right here in this place, in  the months to come,


long beyond the squelch of these summer days,

beyond the winds that blow, beyond tides, 

Sheffield will return, home, to the city.