Matchstick arms enclosed in long sleeves achromatic
Boy of ten summers stretches cotton kit for palm stealth
Mimicking hero’s posture, in flight and in goal celebration
Visage smile matches contemporary shirt motif
Socks accessorised with tag blue, number eight white
Imitation accuracy usurps discomfort of adorning accessory.
His hero a man of Willenhall, Sniffer by pseudonym
Second born, though most successful of footballing sibling quartet
Moniker bequeathed at poacher’s goal sniffing prowess
Oft source of football fulfilment on boy’s canvas existential
One of eleven white-shirted gladiators; frequent bearers of audience delight
“Clarke, One-nil!” commentators soundbite; still oft recollected o’er 40 years hence .
Gladiators adorning all-white dispersed mid-decade 1970’s
Audience smile’s diminishing along with motif smiley
Boy’s puberty coincided, compounding adolescent angst
Child’s motif amour remains, though something died with exiting gladiators
Now middle aged, man will always procure comfort at childhood witness gladiatorial
At least until the world stops going around.