The Scottish Women’s National Team are off to France for the 2019 FIFA World Cup. This will be Scotland’s first Major Finals, since France ’98, and the campaign commences on Sunday 9th June, where Scotland take on England, in Nice.
The Hampden Collection’s Poet-In-Chief, Jim Mackintosh, is in place to promote the beautiful game through the written word and for this World Cup, we have come up with a novel concept. Although we think there should have been, there is no poet for the Women’s Squad, so we put our thinking cap on and came up with the following reasoning: “Why have one, when you can have many?” and get all the Nation’s poets behind the team.
So here is the deal. Submit your poem here and Jim will select the best ones to be posted during the World Cup Campaign, across all our social media channels and published on this page below.
We look forward to reading and publishing the best submissions! See the published submissions below.
Hampden Collection Team
SWNTPoem24 – Graft & Skill
to cross the line
is to believe
graft & skill
[can] [must] will
shine the physical
scoff at the illogical
to build mountains
step by chiselled step
but what if They had said no
and denied this fresh dawn?
Only the dull weave of silence
from rusting beer cans, empty
of narrow imaginations remains
of this pointless question.
By Jim Mackintosh
SWNTPoem23 – Oor Wummins Team
Wummin’, playing fitba’, naw!
That cannae be, my grandad used to say to me
But a’ telt him, aye they do
Naw son, that wullnae be any guid
But they are, better than the men too
Are ye’ cummin’ tae see fir yersel
Naw son, awa’ ye go, I’m no wasting a couple o’ quid
But if he wiz still alive today
Ah’m sure he wouldnae feel like that noo
When he saw Erin play
Scoring those fabulous goals
And Kim, Rachel and Jenna too
No forgetting Claire, Caroline, Jane
Jennifer, Kirsty, Lisa, Leanne
Fiona, Lizzie, Hayley, Joanne
Christie, Lana, Chloe, Joelle
Lee, Shannon, Sophie, Nicola
Ah’m sure he’d gie them a holla
And hae so much praise fir Shelley Kerr
Who did sae weel tae get them there
Noo, when you see them play
A hope ye gie them a cheer
Just like you’d do for the men’s team
That Ah’m sure these women could beat
We maybe no win the World Cup
But then we kin dream
Noo let’s join Shelley’s army
Gie aw oor support tae oor wummins team
By David McDonald
SWNTPoem22 – The Lioness Rampant
The roaring lionesses have a new mane,
Softer, gentler, yet titanium at its core.
These new pioneers are gallus, yet still know the score.
Physical and emotional turmoil would destroy lesser souls, yet our shirt makes them strong.
They won’t accept second best.
To have them represent us, makes us truly blessed.
By John Young
SWNTPoem21 – Ninety Minutes
Magic, sheer magic the curve of the ball
hitting the net, the cheers, music to the ears
sitting on dad’s knee watching it, raring to play
‘Aye, I’ll make it one day, play for Scotland,’ I say.
‘Not you lass, my son,’ says dad chest wide
eyes bright with hope. Inside me crumbles.
Aiming too high? Doubts rise like a wave,
school, dancing, make up, music, is that my lot?
No, not me, not peely- wally I’m out there
the best keepy- uppy girl, my feet dancing
football flying –me- racing- like my heart
years of hard work with grass on my breath.
Scotland, here I come weaving magic
World cup fever, crowd roars, my feet dance
Dad watches with pride as I smash the first
goal in. I’ve done it, Me, that wee lassie.
By Leela Soma
SWNTPoem20 – Through That You Fought
Dolls are for girls. Balls are for boys.
Through that you fought.
“She’s always been a tomboy”
They apologise for your talent.
Through that you fought.
Your counterpart could buy your house twice a week.
Through that you fought.
And here you are.
On BBC1! Respect indeed.
Then some bright spark said
“I know! Let’s do a girls’ version of ‘If’!”
Through this, you’ll fight.
By Alastair McIver
SWNTPoem19 – More Respect For Women
For long enough
Us women have suffered from
When I was at school
In the 80’s and 90’s
The girls got hockey
The boys got football
I’m so glad it’s different now
Women used to say
“I’m not interested in football”
Probably because they
Didn’t understand The Rules
And were too embarrassed
Passion for football used to go
Beyond what was comprehensible
For many lassies
I see a bright future
With more couples and families
Going to matches
Couples sitting watching TV
Synchronised shouts of
“Ya stoater!!” or
In it together
A bright future where it’s
The Mums who explain
The new offside rule
To their sons, daughters
Young folk idolising
The Scottish National Team
Society will change for the better
Because the Scottish National Women’s Team
Are playing in the World Cup
I can just hear folk comparing
The male and female players
With more respect
Which hopefully will
Trickle into their lives
In other ways
Football is an institution
And no-matter how our girls fare
Society will change for the better
Because more men
Will have more respect for women
It’s another step towards
My ideal Utopia
By Nicole Carter
SWNTPoem18 – Keepie Uppie Daydreams
From playing out wi washing line goalposts,
and keepie uppie triumphs…
well, a count of at least three
I learnt tae pass a baw, and sky it er the bar as I shouted repeatedly
‘Archie Gemmill, whit a star’
In ‘78 I was ten and marched wi Ally gladly, before shedding tears for Argentina
By 12, I’d been promoted tae ball girl, a lucky mascot for the mighty reds… Camelon Juniors
and toured whit seemed the world tae me
each Saturday, another fitba field tae see
When I was wee, I loved the game but that was as close as ye got to playing fitba in the 70’s
It was just a dream tae me, one that was gie remote
Unless the boys let me join their game usually saying, aye there ye go, whilst pointing tae the goals … again
Now nearly 40 years on , I’ve a real team to cheer on
and their dreams I’ll gladly follow
The mighty Scotland Women’s National Team…
Gie it laldy girls, haud yer heids up high,
The pride and joy you’ll bring will roar ye oan, as lassies young and auld watch expectantly,
World Cup fever and hopes of glory will send happiness levels, like yon baw I kicked,
Guid luck .
By Janet Crawford
SWNTPoem17 – TICK TOCK
tick-tock, it’s now
the time is today
the game has changed
not just for dreams
today is a birthday,
today is a hurdle, a glass ceiling
shattered, a milestone pushed over
now more than a game,
today matters now
the minutes will fly past, stack up
to become memories stitched
into pockets and softened hearts
Aye, the ‘Telt Ye Man’ is gargling in
the wings, waiting to be proved right
but he can have ‘a fair swipe of shite’
because what matters most
is not the score
well maybe a little
but is everything beyond his nonsense,
his blinkered future, his irrelevant past
the game has changed
for Kerr, Corsie, Clelland, Cuthbert
for all the squad
not just the core folk but
all the girls who now have heroes
to copy, to follow, to become
tomorrow, the polished gems
today matters now
By Jim Mackintosh
SWNTPoem16 – Bravehearts
A tartan tale like no other,
written through the years,
Elsie, Edna and Rose,
one of them won the world cup,
didn’t you hear?
Oh Rose, you are a Scottish legend,
a World Cup, Seria A and Ballon d’Or
Those images are the greatest
but why are there no other Scots,
there to score?
Ah that’s a long, long story
however the answer is very short
we were trapped in a man’s world
but our freedom has been brought.
Many menfolk haven’t managed
what Shelley Kerr has done
Vogts, Smith, McLeish, Burley, Levein and Strachan
they tried often without success,
but we remember them,
Sitting in Hampden’s playground,
Scotland’s Theatre of Dreams
The children chorus and roar,
creaks it at the seams
Kerr’s Pinks Army stride out to hallowed field
Where Cuthbert’s thunderbolt is daringly new,
A father’s daughter cries with joy
screaming “Daddy, that flew”
Another tartan army diehard,
is born Hampden new.
And now we are celebrating,
Scotland has made it through
A pontoon of years
since our last French trip was seen
on a mission to pass the group
and find a place,
Scotland has never been
O Land of Whiskied Thistle,
our bravest lassies are here,
our Girls, are playing our Game,
with the bravest hearts
amid a sea of saltire cheer.
Watching from Football’s heaven
Scotch Professors gather once more
Captain Campbell reminds those English games,
Watson laughs amid gathering cheer
They didn’t see us coming in those days,
victories were our only way,
we are coming to France to find you,
we are coming to support you once more.
Once, we were the Football Kings
teaching the world the combination,
regardless of age or gender,
football shall never again surrender,
the Queens of Football
Campbell turns to Henry Smith,
asking for a final prayer.
The first Football Poet stands once more:
Go on Scotland,
on you Pelter,
Go on Scotland,
we pray for a Belter,
play out our hopes and dreams.
By Graeme Brown
SWNTPoem15 – TOMBOY
She being the tomboy of the team,
And so an actual girl, can’t go
Out of school bounds to play with us.
The boys can go, not the tomboy.
She’s as good as any of us,
We say. It’s what the Head says goes.
If she can’t, none of us will go.
Two, three peel off, and we agree:
It’s good for her to play with girls.
I see her eyes – a girl’s, a tomboy’s –
As the penny drops. Always the eyes.
By David Cameron
SWNTPoem14 – A Curler To Remember
“In life, as in art,
the beautiful moves in curves”:
a change of pace,
a change of direction;
she sends the defender the wrong way;
she sees the chance and takes it,
putting such a spin on the ball
with the side of her foot
the air itself takes part
and curls it into the corner
of the net, in life, as in art.
By Peter Clive
SWNTPoem13 – WHO SAYS?
I could never get my head around this mush
about who gets to do what!
I mean there’s no extra time in this game.
Once your whistle blows you leave the field.
If your thing is keepy uppy in your back garden,
dreaming of World Cup glory, when a wee lassie,
who says you can’t dream?
Who says only boys cross the touchline to reality?
There’s things to be worried about in this life.
Lassies playing football isn’t one of them.
The field’s big enough for dreams a plenty.
By Tom Murray
SWNTPoem12 – *Lessons*
Bold, talented team-
Be patient with us;
Our eyes are not yet used to the light
Your trail is blazing with.
We are playing catch-up.
When your success
by commentary of comparison
To our international failures elsewhere?
It is a domestic red card;
Our flaw, not yours.
Be patient with us,
As we soak up and comprehend
Our triumphant place
On that global pitch
That you have earned for us all.
We have been too slow to celebrate
Your flame, your meteoric rise.
We are lumbering and heavy
Compared to you,
our nimble-footed team.
You have been patient with us.
But be sure,
Be sure now,
we are with you;
We are behind you
As you set off on your mission.
We are lifted by your light.
We have learnt from your success.
You have taught your country well.
By Polly Bee (Pauline Barkley)
SWNTPoem11a – The Beautiful Game
So far, so civil
as St. George’s Cross,
over Scotland House.
Single fraternal statement, which may yet drown out
the wheeze and whine, of a dejected bagpipe’s advent.
We may yet expect the old refrain:
Empire, Agincourt, the Auld Alliance
banded back and Forth
and talk of 1066 and 1966,
as the world’s sports reporters
await the final score.
Little surprise to some;
the roar first rises out of Canvey Island,
grows louder still, arouses the comb-overs
of Saxon roundheads
across the Home counties.
as the beer-bellied brass band breathe in,
launch into a penultimate gust
of a rusty Jerusalem,
The maypole sways, unstable in the sod,
its ribbons frayed, in want of a young girl’s touch,
The highfalutin pundits waffle
along the airwaves,
the over-paid, all sweat and hair gel,
glisten glorious under a Russian sun;
a bag of air is booted round a field.
But, there she is, in the yard,
kicking ball against what was
once a mill-workers back wall.
Wondering if she’ll make it,
if she’ll ever be paid the same.
By Marcas Mac An Tuairneir
SWNTPoem11 – An Geama Gaisgeil
Gu ruige seo,
cha chualar guth de Chrois Sheòrais,
na bàirlinn, gu fiata-fata,
os cionn Taigh na h-Alba.
Samhla bràithreil a-mhàin, a bhàthadh, fhathast,
burral ’s creiceil pìoba fo sprochd, ri teachd.
Bu chòir a bhith an dùil ri seann-dhuan:
Ìmpireachd, Agincourt, an Seann-chàidreachas
nan iomlaid thugainn ’s uainn is
bruidhinn gu lèor air 1066 is 1966,
fhad ’s a dh’fhanas luchd-naidheachd spòrs
air ciallsgur deireannach an sgòir.
Bu dual do dh’fheadhainn
a dh’èiricheadh raois à Eilean Canvey,
a dh’fhàsadh mòr, a dhùisgeadh falt tana cìrte
air feadh na sgìre mu thimcheall Lunnainn.
fhad ’s a ghabhas brùthan-lionna còmhlan-umha anail,
a thogas Ierusalem leth-dheireannach
na dheannaichean meirgeach,
Tulgaidh crann-Bhealltaine, neo-bhunailteach san fhòid,
na ribeannan aig’ air bleith, le dìth sgiobag ìghne.
Craolar sruth bleadraich gun bhrìgh,
fearas-mhòr is raspars aithris,
is iadsan a choisinneas beartas gun cheann, gun chrìch,
le deàrrs fallais is dealatain fuillt, fo ghrian na Rùis’;
thèid màla-gaoith a bhreabadh mu raon.
Ach sin i fhèin, sa chlobhs’ air chùl an taighe,
a’ bualadh bàil an aghaidh balla,
a bha aon uair aig muillear.
Ar leatha an dèan i fhèin a’ chùis,
am faigh i co-ionnanachd pàighidh.
By Marcas Mac An Tuairneir
SWNTPoem10 – Ya Beauty
“She’s awright fur a lassie”
Straight-backed, heid up, hur boots laced wi pride an hope;
she leads hur team up thi tunnel.
“Look at thi legs oan that.”
Legs trained oan pavements, tear doon thi field, eating up thi space between hur an thi baw.
Muscle honed fae mettle.
“Get yir tits oot.”
Hur heartbeat is tinnitus as she heads up the field. Thi sacred moment-
expectation’s a beautiful pause…
“No fast enough”
“No hard enough”
“No skilled enough.”
Fur aw the lassies.
By Elaine McKay
SWNTPoem9 – Believers
Qualification was once a given
There was never a thought of us missing out
Our place was the comfort of the underdog on the undercard
Where we never said die,
We worked so hard,
We brought colour and spirit over finesses
It’s what we did best
All the rampant lions and lionesses
Wearing dark blue
All feeling blessed
That we were coming down the road
You would hear the noise
of us coming down the road
you would feel our pride
of our wee land
a nation that never demands
but dreams more than any other.
A nation of dreamers, schemers
And forever believers
So let’s believe again.
By Kevin Graham
SWNTPoem8 – Only A Game
On the edge banished by age and sex
crisp in cotton dress, she balances
watching the tumbled kick-thump
of the ball against the greying wall.
She studies the big boys practising
accuracy, trickery, rehearsing victory.
In worn gutties they frown and slam
angled curves that swerve away
to punch with certainty into marked out
goals. The chalk borrowed from sisters
playing sure-footed on dainty peever beds.
Rain will erase their presence
but the lessons learned will linger.
By Finola Scott
SWNTPoem7 – MARTA
When you were selling fruit in the market
Because your mother couldn’t send you to school,
When they told you it was a boy’s sport
And you should play with dolls instead,
When you were the only girl in the team
And the community mocked you for it,
When you were banned from the tournament
Because teams refused play against you,
When you made a three-day bus journey alone
For the chance to prove yourself at 14,
When your goals went unnoticed
Because who wants to watch the women’s league?
When you tore opponents’ defences apart
And got a fraction of your male counterparts’ wages,
When they called you “Pelé with skirts”
Because they still had to compare you to a man,
When you were doubted,
When you were shunned,
When you were ridiculed,
When you were dismissed,
When you were made captain of Brazil,
When you carried the Olympic Flag,
When you won the World Cup Golden Boot,
When you won Player of the Year five times in a row,
Did you ever think,
At any point,
Even for a second,
‘I can’t play football
By Karyn Dougan Buckland
SWNTPoem6 – The Beautiful Game
The stage is set
for 90 minute dramas
played with power, passion, and style
as girls go for glory
in games won by defenders
not yielding an inch to opponents
no matter the skills of their wingers
maybe the goalscoring abilities
of star strikers will be the deciding factor
in a well deserved victory
or the gravity defying saves
the goalie made
when her team were under pressure
might be the turning point
between victory and defeat
in the beautiful game
but no matter what the girls do
or how well they play
there will always be some who say
football is not and can never be
a girl’s game
and though fame and recognition
still belong to the boys
for the moment at least
this feisty female football feast
could just be the platform
the women’s game needs
to change the public perception
that this so-called male dominion
is not a sport we should be participating in
we’ve come a long way
since the days Gregory’s girl
could bend it like Beckham
and now we can play
a game banned in Scotland
till the year I went to the big school
74 opened doors closed for decades
in our land
and now like the women of Brazil and Japan
we stand proud of our girls and our game
as names like Erin, Lisa, Kim, and Lizzie
for our daughters and our sons
By Gayle Smith
SWNTPoem5 – The Women Before Her
Not yet six
she half sits,
her body fizzing
fixated on the pink
shirts before her.
She’s singing for
Shelley’s army and
doesn’t miss a beat
voices, for our
girls, for our game
for her Scotland.
They show her
can do when
we raise each other.
She believes in
the women who
the girls standing
ready to gie it laldy
shoulder to shoulder
By Julie McNeill
SWNTPoem4 – Fitba Is A Man’s Game?
“Wummin in the World Cup?
Yer aff yer heid!” they say
“Fitba is a man’s game,
Wee lassies cannae play!”
“They’ll brek a nail or rip their tichts
They’re orange fi fake tan
They greet then their mascara runs!
Leave fitba tae a man!”
Then fi the tunnel, the team run
To a roaring, deafening cheer
Five minutes in and they’re one up
A braw free kick fi Weir!
The ba’ fa’s tae Jen Beattie
She backheels it tae Murray
Joelle passes wide ti Smith,
Who clears it in a hurry
Another chance, but no to be
The ba’ rattles aff the bar
Jane Ross got the rebound
And sticks it past the keeper
A stop fi Alexander
Time to settle doon
Keep possession, pass the ball
Get it up to Broon!
Scotland has a free kick
Thanks to a twohanded shove
Up comes Hayley Lauder
Who gets it to Jo Love!
Goals mount up fir oor “wee team”
They score fi everywhere
And if ye hink girls cany play fitba
Ye’ve no met Shelley Kerr!
By Christine Knox
SWNTPoem3 – By Ony Ither Name
The scouts wir left staunin. Defenders, the same,
When the seventh flew in in the unner eights game;
“Haw, gie us a bell when thon Ross laddie grows!”
Yon scouts are still waitin. Yon laddie wis Rose.
Rose Reilly, Rose Reilly, yer feet are sae fleet,
Ye megged aw the laddies an made thaim tae greet;
The boys that wir chasin ye hadnae a chance,
Rose Reilly, Rose Reilly, ye led thaim a dance!
They tried tae disguise ye wi short back an sides,
But yer smarts wir the staun-oot that nae man could hide;
Nae dummy wis spat when they gied ye a doll,
Ye jist went doon the playgrund an swapped for a ball.
Rose Reilly, Rose Reilly, the tanner baw Pele,
They gied ye the belt an they prayed tae expel ye;
The heidies wir haundin doon ban efter ban,
But Rose Reilly, Rose Reilly, wis aff tae Milan!
It’s easy tae caw it the muive o yer dreams
When ye stairt aff in Stewarton, wind up in Reims;
But this wis yer hame, an ye’d mebbe hiv steyed
If the pouers-that-be wir the pouers-that-peyed.
Rose Reilly, Rose Reilly, yer name micht be flouery,
But yer hert wis like ice when ye wore the Azzurri;
Lionesses noo rampant wir jist wakin up,
Rose Reilly, Rose Reilly, had won the Warld Cup!
The pageant, the contest, the lycra-tight figure,
The warld then was sma; but you made it bigger.
They banned ye fae fitba for sweet SFA,
But nae goalie could stop ye, an neither could they.
Rose Reilly, Rose Reilly, the fix wis aye in,
Short skirts for the lassies, twa points for the win;
But the net couldnae haud ye, ye shot throu the waw,
Rose Reilly, Rose Reilly, the belle o the baw!
By Thomas Clark
#SWNTPoem2 – Bird
Of course I remember her.
Best burper in my year at school.
Could rival Godzilla for volume.
She was nobody’s bird
but at playtimes, we used to carve maths-trees.
My initials + her initials
were the square root
of a scratched, lopsided heart
until one day some boy booted
a ball off her face
then hooted something about dykes.
Eyes screwed into the tips of darts.
I thought she would tear him apart
but instead she dribbled,
juggled, all jink and nimble
with swift feet and meteoric legs
before belittling him in front of his friends
with a Cruyff-like nutmeg;
his flailing arms
clutching at invisible pom-poms
before toppling backwards into a dog turd.
Aye, she was nobody’s bird.
By Stephen Watt
#SWNTPoem1 – To Them All
Tomorrow is a test born
a long time ago, only now
finding its feet on fresh grass.
I will hear doubt, derision and
celebrate none of their indignation
but move the horizon a little further.
I will embrace tomorrow, inventing
my own destiny, the one I share with
my sisters, the ones I love and with you.
At anytime, in victory or defeat
it won’t be strange to shed tears.
Images of rage, of division have no place.
It is for us, now that the grass is confident
to support our feet, to test tomorrow
born a long time ago.
By Jim Mackintosh