I was thinking about the apparent death of the football pools since the advent of the National Lottery in the UK. Although there are still ways of doing the pools online and in the bookies, Liverpool was home to Littlewoods, Vernons and Zetters. The companies provided much employment in this area and the wealth of the Moores family (of Littlewoods) bankrolled Liverpool and Everton football teams for many years.
During the 1970s it was traditional for families to sit down in front of the TV watching World of Sport hosted by Dickie Davies with such entertainment highlights as wrestling and show jumping. This was years before Live football on Sky etc.
Apparently, the name of Tranmere Rovers was known to elderly women across the country as the draw specialists. Nobody knew where the team resided but that wasn’t important as they became the housewives’ choice to avoid victory and defeat in equal measure.
Then at about 4.50 the football results were read. People with no interest in the sport would eagerly await the scores to check their pools coupon aiming for the elusive 8 draws on the Treble Chance. In the Summer, Australian games were used with such exotic names as Wollongong, Juventus and Polonia.
This inspired the following lines as my poetic muse kicked in.
It Won’t Change Our Lives
Five minutes left to live like a peasant,
Eight draws are needed to make life so pleasant.
Wrestling from Rotherham and she yells at the baddie;
screams at the Haystacks and pleads, ‘Smash him Big Daddy!’
The choreographed farce that she finds oh so funny,
On the countdown to the outcome that’ll bring her the money.
Anxious, she scans through her coupon of ‘X’s,
and father looks on and imagines THAT Lexis.
Then the Mallen-streaked Davies comes onto the screen
to set up the quest for that Saturday dream.
Birmingham TWO…..Coventry NIL;
The Midlands derby won’t bank accounts fill.
Onto the Div. 2; the first having passed,
Will Sheffield equalise right at the last?
Three draws already and all on one line,
“Let Halifax tie and wealth would be mine.
But one late result, alas we must wait
for the teleprinter to seal my fate.”
Their far away battle was sadly delayed,
Not certain how they fared; no idea how they played.
Torquay and Cambridge, and Hartlepool too,
all level at 90, now what about Crewe?
The temperature rises as we reach Stenhousemuir,
two each, 2-2, all square is the score.
Hours seem to pass as we wait for one match,
For richer for poorer; four lives we can patch.
It’s over! It’s over! Down at Ashton Gate,
A penalty for Bristol by Little Man Tait.
Eight out of eight – it’s the big jackpot prize,
Claims: 24 points, we hear through the cries.
We’re mentally planning to use every penny,
A red car for Father, a brown horse for Jenny.
“We’ll be in the papers and say, ‘spend, spend, spend’,
Until the publicity (and cars) drive us ‘round the bend.”
The cheque’s on the way; the trips on the coast,
I glance at our entry I was meaning to post…….
It’s a sickening fact which I cannot ignore,
The right draws are still lying in the left drawer.
It may suffer from 14 year old's 'it was all a dream' syndrome ending but..........
A poem's a poem for 'a that.