A Poem in 150 Words on England’s 150th Birthday

by Dom Smith

150 years after England’s very first international match, a poem about the essence and experience of supporting the Three Lions. In 150 words.


First you were pioneers, then you were best, 

Then you thought you were best, 

Then you were hurt,

Now there is hope again.

Though you leave your public thinking you’re down but come back fighting,

Though you leave your public thinking you’ve cracked it only to fall at the next low hurdle,

Though your greatest hour droops and greys at 56 years old,

Still your public watches,

And hopes.

You are no minnow;

A great footballing nation.

Yet still it is self-punishing to follow you.

When will England next cock up?

Who is the scapegoat?

How can his public hang him out to dry?


You find new ways to disappoint,

Yet you find new ways to delight.

Your public claim not to care about you,

Yet you dominate all conversation.

150 years ago to this day, we first watched you, England;

We continue to watch you.

And hope.

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