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McAlister ©

Robbie Kennedy Bennett
Wolverhampton, England
2008

McAlister you had my admiration,
A respectful type of football adulation.
Your sky blue team they were in hiding,
You were instructing,
Encouraging and deciding.
Where next shall you make your telling pass?
Upton Park you covered every inch and blade of grass.
Defying your increasing aging years,
You turned the heckles into cheers.
When 'hammers' fans to you were loudly chanting,
'You're old and you know you are'
They were ranting.
You nodded to the fans as they were singing,
A cheer around the stands came a-ringing.
McAlister you had their admiration,
A respectful type of football adulation.
Di Canio that day had a glowing report,
Liverpool were watching,
And guess what player they bought.
In the twilight time of your career,
You deserved to hear the Anfield cheer.


Story Behind The Poem

As a neutral at Upton Park I witnessed the performance of a good old pro. While younger players were accepting a beating and going into hiding Gary McAlister of Coventry shone like a beacon.

I noticed a player turn his head when McAlister told him to take a corner in front of the West Ham fans. He ran over to take it himself to the chorus of, "You're old and you know you are." McAlister agreed with them and deserved a rousing applause for his humour as well as his performance.



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