Our Footballing Nation’s
The Hampden Collection’s Bairn’s Bard brings you ‘braw words’
The Hampden Collection’s Bairn’s Bard, Julie McNeill, wants to capture the most important voices OF Scottish football’s FUTURE, the children and young people who love to watch and play the game.
We are proud to invite the next generation of bards to share their #BrawWords in our brand new collection dedicated to their young voices.
Missing training with your friends?
Proud of your club?
Mastered your first Cruyff turn in lockdown?
Tell us all about it!
A space for you
About time young people, aged 5 – 18 years old, have their own place in our world of football poetry.
What does football mean to you?
Submit your poems in English, Scots, Gaelic – or any another language.
Be Super cool
The best poems will appear in our #BrawWords Collection on our website, Facebook and Twitter pages, picked by our Bairn’s Bard.
WRITE YOUR POEM HERE
LOOK AT WHAT FOOTBALL MEANS TO THEM
COME ON IN, JOIN THE FUN
Tell your pals about #BrawWords
“Join the buzz as Glasgow plays host to the European Championships, share how you’ve stayed connected with the game you love through lockdown, tell us what supporting Scotland means to you.“
Julie McNeill, Bairn’s Bard
braw words poem1: What is Football?
“What does football mean to me?
It’s ‘you like football?’ in a surprised voice
Because I’m a girl, right? – it’s not normal
But ‘yeah, I do,’ I say with pride.
Football is an identity that I proudly wear on my sleeve
My badge of honour, my captains armband.
It is being dragged to games, one after another
Hiding under a blanket, reading a book
Crying when your team scores, the shouting too loud
But being grateful
That you were introduced to the sport you’ve grown to love.
Football is forgetting to bring an extra layer
Almost freezing to death
It is the excitement of a new month
Turning over the calendar page to see a new player.
Football is anxiously watching scores come in on the concourse TV
Another game waiting to begin.
It is travelling for hours in the car to Stranraer or Inverness
All for the love of the game.
Football is supporting the underdogs
Suffering hundreds of loses for that one win.
Football is supporting a team no one’s ever heard of
‘Raith Rovers, they’re from Kirkcaldy.’
Bumping into a classmate at a motorway service station with our Dads
Me going to Raith, him going to St. Johnstone
It is singing Geordie Munro at the top of your lungs, packed in the stairs
Leaving the stadium after winning 2-0
Waking up the next morning with a sore throat.
Football is sitting next to a wee old woman
Muttering under her breath – ‘C’mon Kieran,’
Whilst everyone around her is shouting loudly
We may support differently but we’re supporting all the same.
Football is a boy you’ve never met before stopping you at school
‘You were the mascot at the Raith game at the weekend, weren’t you?’
‘You couldn’t have picked a worse team’
But football is being proud of it
Being able to stand up and say you’re different.
It’s debates with the boys at school on whether Hearts will win the Premiership
Football is knowing they won’t.
It is watching highlights on your phone at school
The game you missed last night
It is the ‘wow’ or ‘let’s rewind that’
It’s re-watching old games, over and over
But never being able to watch others again
The despair and regret too much to relive.
Football is sharing memories and experiences.
Hearing your parents’ stories of France ‘98
Making your own, 20 years later.
That you too will pass down one day.
Football is travelling to Paris
Being 3-0 up in the seventieth minute
Then drawing 3-3
Missing out on getting past the group stage
Football is the world stopping
Waiting for the player to take the penalty
The words ‘retake’ flashing around you
It is VAR
The anger and the disappointment.
Football is bumping into a fellow fan under the Eiffel Tower
The only things similar – the colour of your strip and your love for the game
Football is having amazing role models
Fighting for what you believe in
Chanting ‘equal play, equal pay’ with 57,000 others
People with the same passion, the same identity.
Some say football is a beautiful game
I think it’s more than that – it’s a lifestyle
It can mean everything to some, but nothing to others.
‘It’s just a bunch of sweaty people chasing a ball,’ a friend once said
Football is an identity that brings us together
It might mean nothing to you, but it means the world to me.”
by Grace Lawther
This poem was selected as the winner of Nutmeg Young Writers Competition.
braw words poem2: Football is ALWAYS the Winner!
Football is my best friend,
A friend I play with all the time.
I miss it … to me not playing,
Really is a crime.
Football makes me feel fit,
Happy, healthy and full of energy.
“Head up! Look for space! Pass!”
Always playing to the best of my ability.
I can’t wait till football is back
And I can run out on the pitch
But thanks to COVID, I must wait
To scratch my football itch!
Until then it’s online learning,
Practising skills till it’s time for dinner,
“Come on you know, and remember,
Football is ALWAYS the winner!”
By Grant Kerr
braw words poem3: Match Day
I am the most sporty in my house
so it goes like this:
When its game day my Mum says:
“Come on we have to go.”
My Dad says:
“We’ve got plenty of time”.
“We are going to be so early again!!”
Then my Dad jokes to my sister and says:
“You sure you don’t want to come? I know how much you love football.”
My sister grunts:
After the game my Dad says:
“You had better take those filthy boots off before you get in my car.”
My Mum says:
“Remember to put your clothes in the wash when we get home.”
My sister says:
“You are filthy and you stink!”
Soon after we arrive home I get changed, forget what my mum had said and dump my clothes on the floor.
By Maya Halcrow
braw words poem4: The best footballer
We wanted to play something with a ball
I mean what could go wrong
We tried to get a goal
But something rushed through the pitch
And took the ball
Of course, it’s the best footballer.
We are going through the pitch
Chasing him like tigers
But he’s going faster
Faster than a biker
Of course, it’s the best footballer.
Blurry are his feet
We don’t want to shout defeat
To the best footballer.
We shout stop
But he’s going on and on
At least he can’t escape
From the pitch
Of course, it’s the best footballer.
You are asking who this is
I mean who could be the best
Of course, it’s my dog
Rudy the best footballer.
By David Molka
braw words poem5: A GIRLS FOOTBALL DREAM
When I was Six, I used to kick a ball
I started training and stood very tall
It was the girls team I joined
But wasn’t enough for me to enjoy
On a cold winters day September 2017
I went for a trial for the boys team and wanted to scream
I did it I did it I am so very proud
My heart was thumping and I shouted out loud
Nearly 4 years on and still in the same team
I have met many good friends and they all treat me like a queen
After all I am the girl of the squad
But when it comes to training they don’t hold back they all trudge
Monday, Wednesday hard training nights
And also Sundays early morning match day vibes
I get up excited and cannot wait for what the game brings on after a long week wait
To be in the team talk with my mates and even more excited to be handed the captain armband it’s just great
To look round to see my mum’s big smile and I turned round and kick off for a while
I run and run and pass the ball I run some more and WOW I scored a goal
I eat, sleep and breathe football and it makes me the most happiest and proudest girl
My love will continue to grow with my team and bring on 11 a sides
Harder training, more commitment and more of taking risks in my stride
Hard work with the boys instead of playing with toys
Will land me a place in the ladies race
For now follow my heart and dreams
I am still smiling, loving and fighting to my teens
I gave up my friends in the girls to be brave and strong
To better myself and will be back before long
I can only play till I am 16 then back to the girls
To continue my teens
My fight through this journey is all worthwhile
So many friends and done with such style
To hopefully land a place in Spartans ladies team
Then move on to the massive DREAM
by Aylei Pickup
braw words poem6: i love football!
Football is lots of fun
Overtaking other players
Over the line
All the team working together
Learning new skills
Love it when I score!
by Daniel Hart
braw words poem7: WHEN THE TEAMS COME OUT
When I feel excited,
I get this sort of chill.
It makes me crouch down,
And put my fists together.
Most likely to happen when Scotland are playing.
And when the teams come out I feel happiness, togetherness along with adrenaline.
It’s like a mixed emotion – clapping and cheering,
Hoping against hope that our team wins.
Then comes the tragic bit,
When England scores.
by Angus White