Extract from the ‘Lost World of Football’ examining John Toshack’s contribution to the world of poetry…
While many a recently retired footballer will now employ a fawning hack to transcribe his tales of squandering millions of pounds of our money on cocaine, cars and country manors, you tend not to get so many soccer-star poets these days.
It all started when Liverpool centre-forward John Toshack nodded in a goal and made up a little rhyme about it for the local Liverpool press men. Now, everyone in football enjoys a new tradition, especially when it fills column inches without the need for anyone to engage their brain…
Published by Duckworth in 1976, Gosh It’s Tosh! featured not only the Welsh hitman’s innermost thoughts in the form of approximately rhyming doggerel, but also a series of pictures of Tosh with his classic ‘little ‘n’ large’ strike partner Kevvy Keedle – first dressed up as Batman and Robin, then as Edwardian gents, as Spanish bullfighters and escaped convicts. As such, it’s something of a rarity.
In case you have a first (and only) edition foxing elegantly on your spare-room bookshelves, the value of a slightly dog-eared copy (‘for insurance purposes’, as they say on The Antiques Roadshow) is anything up to £1.20.
“We’re coming in to land at Speke,
My legs are feeling very weak,
We’ve just returned from Barcelona,
And now I’m going for a sauna…”
Return from Spain – John Toshack
If you want to read the rest ‘The Lost World of Football’ is available now in branches of WH Smiths and Waterstones or can be ordered online here…