Gary Lineker

Gary Lineker was Footballer of the Year in 1992 and  I delivered the following poem. There’s a lot of topical stuff which might test your memory but is too much to explain here. Gary had decided to retire from Tottenham managed by Terry Venables and end his career in Japan.

'Goodbye Gal'

(with apologies to Neil Simon)

One day after playing West Ham,
Gal said: “My career’s in a jam.”
So he went to El Tel.
Said: “though you pay me quite well,
I think I’ll sod off to Japan.”

El Tel said: “Have you gone off the rails?
Have you been tapped by that new League of Wales?”
He said: “Don’t tell me it’s Brighton
It’s not Michael Knighton?
Have you been seeing those weird Chippendales?”

Gal said: “The last thing I want is a rift,
But my release is within your gift.”
Tel said: “Leave it ‘til later.
I’m planting a ‘tater,
So next season we’ll have something to lift.”

But Gal just would not be stopped,
Though Tel begged til his eyes almost popped.
He even talked of Terry Neill,
Who left Ireland for Muswell Hill
And the IQs in both countries dropped.

As it sank in El Tel looked quite ill,
And searched in his purse for a pill.
He said: “This is a real bugger,
I must ‘phone Alan Sugar.”
Then he stopped and cried in Scribes till.

Alan said though it made him feel sick
He would not take a decision too quick
He said: “Still, if he goes to Nip land,
I could bid for the Midland.”
Tel said: “We’ll offer cash – plus Terry Fenwick!”

Tel said: “After that I’m feeling quite merry.
Let me pour you a Scribe’s West dry sherry.”
He said “Do you think in Japan,
Their top FA man
Is some soumo they call Glayham Kerry?”
Gal said: “I’ll not miss that lot on this trip,
Though I don’t wish to say things too flip.”
He said: “One thing’s for certain,
There won’t be a Gren Klirton.
Nor, I hope, a Sir Berr Mirrichip.”

Tel said: “Our parting will be without rancour,
For here at Spurs you have been our anchor
I might sign Andy Sinton,
Or perhaps Sir John Quinton!
Now there is a wit of a banker!”

Tel said: “Just before you got on your bike,
Are you sure it’s a country you’ll like?”
Gal said: “I’ve thought long and well.
Told my Dad and Michelle
And had it all Blessed through David Icke.”

Tel said: “When you go to Japan,
Be sure that you do not get banned.”
He said: “It sure would hurt me
If some Jap referee
Showed a card you can’t see in his hand.”

Then just as their chat started to tire,
Ken Bates came on the ‘phone breathing fire
He said: “Tel, I would like it much better
If you’d not sent that letter
Addressed ‘Stamford Bridge, the Occupier.’”

Ken said: “Of such jokes I’ve had my fill,
For I’m having those nightmares still.”
He said: “You would be more caring
If you’d dreamt of ground sharing
With Noades, Sam Hammam and Jimmy Hill.”

Ken raved on ‘til Tel just couldn’t follow.
Then he felt a cold sweat on his collar.
As he put down the ‘phone
He felt all alone
And thought how much he missed Irving Scholar.

So while Gazza’s off to play to some greaser,
We’ve lost Gal our other crowd pleaser.
And it’s not just football’s loss
For in life, he’s some sort of cross
Between Doug Ellis and Mother Theresa.



So before our bladders swell up like a spinnaker,
And my rhyming becomes even more finnickier,
Let me say, at the end,
We’re all proud to have as our friend
A great player – more important – great man, Gary Lin-Acre.

Copyright: Bob “the Cat” Bevan May 1992

Grumpy old goalies


Bob 'The Cat' Bevan