06: The Poetry of Football

Football is an emotional game and we all express those feelings in different ways. But sometimes it’s difficult to actually explain those emotions. Football writer, Musa Okwonga uses poetry to express his passion for the beautiful game.

For Musa, his love of football started at school where he and his friends would play nearly three hours a day, before and after class and during the lunch break. His earliest memories of following the professional game include watching the FA Cup and the 1990 World Cup.

Okwonga sites Manchester United’s 1999 Champions League victory over Bayern Munich in the Final as the defining moment of his football fandom. He remembers watching the game with a group of friends at University, all crammed into a small room. With United winning the game at the death in dramatic fashion, Musa was overcome with emotion and jumped out of the first floor window, celebrating like crazy. He didn’t even see the final whistle.

I think United are consistently the ones who won very, very late in the game. Like the smart kid who doesn’t really work that hard at school who always manages to kind of pull it out of the bag with a bit of last minute revision.

Musa has been writing poetry from a young age so it was a natural step to bring together two of his passions and try to capture the game in a unique way.

I suppose what lends itself so well is the brevity. So you know, football ultimately is about moments. They make you wax poetic, you know, quite literally in my case. You know, a lot of people, their response is to ooh and aah and my response is to actually, I’m going to get my pen out and see what I can create to do justice to that.