The Hampden Collection’s Poet-In-Chief, Jim Mackintosh, had a dream recently. With the postponement of the Euro2020 until next year, he dreamt we could host football poetry from all over Europe, in any language, over the vacuum in this year’s footballing calendar. This would be our ‘poésie sans frontières’.

It’s not our intention to underplay the tragedy, which has engulfed so many of our friends and neighbours across Europe, however we want to provide an opportunity to strengthen our historic bonds through our shared passion for football and the written word.

This poetry will remind us of the good times and express the sadness of where we are now, cherishing why we do what we do on a football field or in the stands watching the beautiful game. Regardless of your country of origin, the language of football will prevail and therefore we will accept poems in any language. Indeed we encourage it.

After a number of kick-arounds on what we would call this venture, we came up with ‘Primo Poetica’, translation ‘First Poetry’, nodding to it being the first of its kind, illustrating its inception out of the first international football stadium ever built, ‘Hampden Park’, and demonstrating the ‘international themed’ mission to pass the ‘poetry of football’ around Europe, at a time when we are faced with its greatest shutdown of all time.

So the ultimate question. Do you believe you have a football themed poem, which will strike a chord with our Europoean family of countries during this difficult period of our shared history? Submit your poem here and Jim will select the best ones to be posted through the coming weeks and months.

We look forward to reading and publishing the best submissions! See the published submissions below.


Hampden Collection Team


#PrimoPoetica1 – Euro2020

Manuel Neuer’s annoying his neighbours.
He keeps having to get them to throw back his ball.
Toni Kroos is so cross that the Euros are off that
he’s punched a hole through his living room wall.

David de Gea has dropped his tortilla
on the decking in his backyard.
He’s refusing to take off his goalie gloves during quarantine
And it’s made holding his cutlery quite hard.

Gareth Bale’s dreaming of golfing outside.
All he does now is eat, sulk and sleep.
Isco invited him to a virtual disco,
but he told him he’d rather just stick on Leonard Cohen and weep.

Kylian Mbappé’s feeling a little bit crappy.
He’s in his slippers making a lunchtime snack.
He gets out a baguette and some low-fat hummus,
Then orders a pizza and puts the other stuff back.

Harry Kane’s sofa is his station for self-isolation.
He spends 24 hours a day alone.
He mostly stares at the ceiling hoping his hamstring is healing,
And humming Football’s Coming Home.

Eden Hazard is re-watching Die Hard
18th time this week; but he’s having a hoot!
Besides, he doesn’t have to worry about his food supplies,
The garden of Eden has plenty of fruit.

Andy Robertson’s in a castle made from cans of Irn Bru.
He’s playing a game of chess against a garden gnome.
He watches on as the gnome puts him into checkmate,
Then goes back to InPrivate browser on his phone.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s naked and staring in the mirror.
It’s all he’s done since he entered quarantine.
He takes a seat in the pose of The Thinker,
And has a daydream about what could’ve been.

By Stuart Kenny

#Primopoetica2 – El partido del portero

Los chicos de Klopp pasaron el balón,
pasaron, pasaron, pasaron
y los de Diego defendieron;
los de Klopp dispararon
dispararon el balón
pero ¡no pasaran!
Los delanteros de Liverpool no pasaron
porque Oblak bloqueó, bloqueó,
bloqueó, bloqueó, bloqueó,
porque Oblak bloqueó el paso.
Otra de Oblak y otra y otra
¡Qué parada! ¡Qué paradón!
¡Es que ya no quedan palabras!
Solo soy poeta de la página,
eres poeta de la portería;
solo soy este poema,
eres todo el poemario.

By David Bleiman

‘Based on the Goalkeeper’s match of Liverpool v Atlético Madrid, 11 March 2020, where Oblak blocked one Liverpool strike after another.

#Primopoetica3 – Hunt

Wet waxed your jacket
Lightning strike stood tight
Prayer hands. Mine pocketed
Scarf Arab Strapped round frost bit face.

It’s fitbaw in a tin can these days.

My lungs escaped me
Tear gas breathed. Steam rising
From a tray of chips ahead.
I would plough my fingers just to taste that heat.

Full time we find our feet. Pound streets
Feels beat but we are warriors

One goal up huddled in the pub
Mandolin choir rising
The mob throbs wae Calton songs
Windows steamin’ dreams of 67.

This is the game, my friend
Not a sport but a life spent.
We hunt every Sunday
Lay out our dead on the Monday commute.

By Victoria McNulty