(for Alun and Amanda Maxwell)
He was a great ambassador for the game.
He had a simple name.
His name was known in households other than ours.
But we knew other stars.
We could recall as many finalists
as many panellists.
But when they said this was his Waterloo,
we said it was ours too.
His native village claimed him as its own,
as did his native town,
adopted city and preferred retreat.
So did our own street.
When his brave back was up against the wall,
our televisions all
got us shouting, and that did the trick.
Pretty damn quick.
His colours were his secret, and his warm-up
raindance, and his time up
Flagfell in the Hook District, and his diet
of herbal ice, and his quiet
day-to-day existence, and his training,
and never once explaining
his secret was his secret too, and his book,
and what on earth he took
that meant-to-be-magic night in mid-November.
You must remember.
His game crumbled, he saw something somewhere.
He pointed over there.
The referees soothed him, had to hold things up.
The ribbons on the Cup
were all his colour, but the Romanoff
sadly tugged them off.
We saw it coming, didn’t we. We knew
something he didn’t know.
It wasn’t the first time a lad was shown
Another one will come, and he’ll do better.
I see him now—he’ll set a
never-to-be-beaten time that’ll last forever!
Won’t he. Trevor.