Six foot tall the young man stood,
And was built like a wall of stone,
And when he stood between the posts
Compared he could be to none.
His shout was loud, his throws were long,
His grip was firm and his kicks were strong.
To any length on height he’d leap
In a bid for his clean sheet to keep.
But times would come when he’d screw up,
Like missing the ball or letting it drop.
And his team would look at him with disdain,
Adding inner hurt to his physical pain.
So he would turn, pick the ball from the net,
And try to learn from mistakes that he’d never forget.
This process of learning was a constant thing,
Adding more hope to his ‘ridiculous’ dream.
Harder he’d try, week after week,
To ignore all the put-downs and instead try to think;
“What can I learn from this? What’s going wrong?”
His burning ambition was still there, still strong.
The put-downs persisted but had less effect,
And gradually the team showed their boy some respect.
Despite disappointment and losing, his head remained lifted,
And at last, in one game, they saw he was truly gifted.
They were 1-0 up, half a minute remaining,
The whole team’s energy rapidly draining,
When the ball went loose and two strikers went free,
Spelling trouble for the defence with a capital ‘T’.
The young man stood tall, a few yards off his line,
Carefully making his decision and biding his time.
When one striker hit the ball with a deafening crack
He palmed it onto the crossbar; but it came hurtling back.
So he jumped to his feet, prepared himself again,
As the ball met the foot of the skillful number 10.
High across the box it came, speeding through the air,
So he ran and he lept without a fear or a care.
His arms fully stretched and eyes locked on the ball,
Everyone within five miles heard his call
As his fists made connection and the ball flew away.
Then the whistle blew loudly: he had saved the day.
The team swamped around him, cheering his name.
His “twenty foot leap” had won them the game.
As an army of fans roared he lifted the cup,
Knowing it was his talent that had brought them good luck.
Week after week they won match after match
More and more shots he’d save, more high crosses he’d catch.
His success brought them right to the top of the league,
The city’s best strikers in his wake he did leave.
And when the season ended and he’d won them the Double,
His team-mates regretted ever causing him trouble.
And from then in their hearts they held no-one dearer
Than their friend, their legend, their great goalkeeper.