KEVIN GRAHAM joins our ‘What Football Means To Me’ series with his poem ‘Football Matters’. Because guess what? It does.

Football Matters.

The great men that are Stein and Shankly,

Gave us all the guiding principles of life

Football without fans is nothing

Football is more serious than life and death

Who are we to argue with such greats?


Football Matters.

It gives you status with a glance,

The moment you wear the badge.

Fans identify with you and judge you

Before they know whether you are

Quiet, loud, shy, awkward or just an arsehole.


Football Matters.

It gives you religion when you have none.

Like all religions it causes worthless conflict

It makes holy places out of breeze block

An altar of a turnstile

Miracles in out of town retail parks with added conference facilities and hotel.


Football Matters.

It gives you a sense of geography school never did

Far flung towns, countries and capitals

Favelas, areas of Montevideo, motorways to Nowheresville

Learned, stored, remembered and cherished

Hoping that one day it comes up in a pub quiz.


Football Matters.

It gives you signposts in life

Events are remembered by games

Dates signified by wins, defeats and no score draws

You remember Kenny Dalglish’s birthday

Before the due date of your house insurance

(it’s the 4th March but if you’re reading this I’m sure you already know that)


Football Matters.

It gives you a reason to make career decisions

The promotion will increase your workload

Getting in your way attending

Midweek cup replays or pre-season friendlies

In grounds you will never see again.


Football Matters.

It gives you social skills

In situations when you have none

Parties where you know no one

Monday mornings with forgettable work colleagues

You have something to talk about


Football Matters.

It gives you hope, it allows you to dream

No matter how many times

It breaks your heart

That your heart can’t be broken anymore

The pieces are scattered like ashes on the pitch


And you don’t care. Because Football Matters.