Too young to know these lads and think them great,
I had to rest on what my uncle said.
Coaxed with beer in Altrincham pubs, he’d wait
until their vivid ghosts had filled his head;
not black and white, like newsreel films I knew,
but proud before the Stretford End in red,
an average age of barely twenty-two
yet strong enough to frighten Real Madrid.
How good they might have been no one can state.
Perhaps the game was never better played
than by the players in that tragic show,
abruptly ended in the Munich snow,
when they had run their hearts out in Belgrade,
February 6th, 1958.