Unsung Sporting Hero

Our local TV programme has been running a series on “unsung sporting heroes”. So here’s my contribution. The others are all people like teachers of gymnastics. Mine is a Premiership footballer.

Gustav Options is an attacking midfielder who makes myriad chances for the strikers by his immaculate positioning. How many times have we heard a Match of the Day commentator say, in an excited voice, something like “He’s got Options to his left”? The quiet Belgian never seems to score, and indeed, rarely gets the ball, but his presence diverts and disorients defenders, contributing to goals.

Now what on earth is this doing in a blog mainly about poetry? Not much, to be honest, but I suspect a love of word-play is common among poets. We do strange things with words, things that may possibly even be illegal in some countries (check before you travel). We see multiple meanings in words. So someone who genuinely likes football and who, on listening to commentary, hears “Welbeck’s cross…Rooney’s shot” and thinks of Welbeck being annoyed and Rooney receiving a bullet may well be poet material.

Yesterday I posted some mystery lines for people to guess. They were

Remember me when I am gone away,
   Gone far away into the silent land;
   When you can no more hold me by the hand,
Nor I half turn to go yet turning stay.

I forgot to give a clue. So here it is: CLOSE TO ARKHANGELSK?

Next time I'll add more mystery lines.