the penalty


the tension, more knots in my stomach, than defenders legs, after facing patrick roberts, fear under the floodlights, he’s stepping up but you’re sitting down, burying your face hard into your hands which tell the story of the day.  

milk and fig soap, sweat and half time pie. you attempt to drill your face deeper to a calm place but can’t block out the noise, that bustle of energy, cheers and song to moussa dembele, that’s piercing the night air, only adds to the fear.

the whistle blows, the crowd inhales of a drowning man, then a silence, most respectful, grabs hold of the air, stillness, amid the chaos, before an atomic flash, enthrals then terrifies you with the reality that some time in the future, at the same time, at the same place, we will need to feel this all again. i’ll make sure my hands smell better next time.


Author: kevin graham

Too many years chasing football, music and ignoring the good things in life.

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