Oldham: 1970 – by Marg Roberts


Saturday afternoon at the Watersheddings
wrapped in parka, woollen mittens
stout shoes and thick stockings,
I remember the click of the Boys and
Ladies’ turnstile, standing next to dad
though he was hundreds of miles away.

Play up, Owdham! We shouted hoarse.
Wind and rain buffeted booted bare legs
bums in mud shorts. Despair drowned in
half time Bovril, recollections of winning ways.
Fog never stopped play. Hookers and scrums
melted out of sight in swirling Pennine mists.

Among the echoes of Lowry streets and mills
just for a while the roar of hope was all.



Marg’s poetry has been published in several magazines including Orbis, Reach, Cannon’s Mouth, Message in a Bottle and Ink, Sweat & Tears. She was Warwick’s poet laureate 2009-10. Her novel, A Time for Peace, was published by Cinnamon Press in October 2016. You can read more of her work here.

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