Shirt Man: Sign Of the Times

And all to make themselves look big
‘I beg, therefore I am.’

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For clarification: I am not against players gifting shirts per se. I have one much-treasured match-worn shirt myself. But when individuals describe themselves as ‘shirt collectors’ and their signs are getting bigger by the game, I believe it’s gone too far. Their greed has not gone unnoticed.


He must get Toni Rüdiger’s,
He must get Hazard’s too.
He must get every match worn shirt
That’s worn by those in blue.

He doesn’t care who he might shove,
He’s like a battering ram.
He holds aloft his home made signs
Then boasts on Instagram.

You’ll see folk like him after games,
They chase the players’ cars.
They hunt them down near restaurants,
The training ground, and bars.

If shirt man doesn’t get his prize,
He’ll yell and shout some more.
With his cornflake packet held aloft,
It’s what he’s living for.

The players sometimes drive on by
But he will not relent.
A shirt’s his status symbol
And he thinks it’s time well spent.

If stewards scold, he simply throws
His sign out of his pram.
For he is shirt man, King Of Greed,
And he boasts on instagram.

And shirt man says we’re jealous
Just because he gets the most.
But some of us support the team
With no desire to boast.

What happened to the sport we love
Where grown men feel no shame
In snatching prized material
From children at the game?

And all to make themselves look big
‘I beg, therefore I am.’
A sad, sad sign of modern times
As they boast on Instagram.


© Carol Ann Wood
May 2019

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