Poetry: A Local Bloke

By Bill Walker

A box slips down with a humming sound, faces smile through tears
the playing field a memory now, team mates succumbing to years
Barney, Rat, Whinger, Knob and Doris from the canteen
the team’s all there with silver hair, on a nostalgic crutch they lean
a special bloke has had enough, slipped quietly off the rails
he lost the toss, the upstairs boss called heads when he needed tails

don’t you expect to see the Queen, and you won’t shake hands with the mayor
but the reps from all the other sides are standing over there
he was always first out on the ground if any one got hurt
even if it was one of them, writhing in the dirt
he’s going down through a little hole, but a big one is left behind
his presence always drew respect, he was one of a kind.

the little bloke going up in smoke was a legend round these parts
near fifty years they came and went but he stayed in all their hearts
he coached the unders, then the twos and filled in for the ones
and if Bazza hadda kicked that goal we would have had them done
he swept the floors and locked the doors, the young kids called him pop
a meeting here, a raffle there, he never seemed to stop

behind him was a lady, a true suburban wife,
they lived for one another, for they were each other’s life
she went along to all the games and baked the cakes at night
she was his chief advisor, made sure he always did things right
the girls all hold her hand today with a pain they but half share
tonight she’ll cry alone in bed, Charlie won’t be there.

as the numbing of the hymns wears off, each other’s hands they shake
with heavy hearts and tired bones, to the clubrooms they go for the wake
he’s not sitting in his corner, sipping on a beer and sars
but hanging there above his chair is his treasured Bulldogs glass
they mope around all dressed in black, Nugget swore that Charlie spoke
then they bow their heads in the old tin shed, and drink to a local bloke


  1. Bill – fabulous poem. I really believe that every successful football club needs it’s “bloody good bloke” as much as the star centre half forward.

  2. Pamela Sherpa says

    Lovely Bill, you’re ‘Local Bloke’ epitomises the essence of sport.

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