Paddington Wrecks FC is not so much a football club as a group of ageing mates who play 5-a-side football every Thursday night of the year. One or two are musicians and songwriters of some repute. I joined four years ago but many members have played together for over twenty years. Its a joy. In our midst is the most exquisite player called Hatam, by day a cafe' owner in Primrose Hill but on Thursday nights he becomes the Messi of Maida Vale .. 

The Hat

Touchline skulking in day-glo bib,

Biding time for the cross field pass

Hugging the chalkline, outside left

The assassin smile, the executioner’s laugh.

Killing the ball, so cool, so deft,

Dazzling neon shuffle, too cute, too fast,

Dribbling in drizzle, another nutmeg,

A velvet shimmy, the snake in the grass,

This thief in the night, this King of the Rec,

Messi-esque matador, Oh finish the task,

Stiletto at hand, ”You want me to beg?”

I lunge at your feet, your quicksilver toes,

Where the ball’s gone…only He knows,

Defence in retreat, in floodlit tailspin,

Flash velvet Umbros as Hat backheels in….