Tuesday, 23 April 2019


Liked soccer -
quiet, intense teacher
trade unionist

Overt stammer
explosive repetitions
facial tremor
sudden rush of words
so much to say
couldn’t get it all out

Except when he taught.
Clear when he fought -
for the vulnerable
against racist
pub landlords.
Or fascist fucks

Killed by police.
Beaten in Southall
they caved in his skull
couldn’t get up
or hold a glass.
Died in a Hospital theatre.
11.40pm, 23 April, 1979

© Des Mannay

Southall ’79, when the police killed Blair Peach

Des Mannay - [Twitter: @hooliganpoet]

Des has won prizes and been shortlisted in 6 competitions, performed at 8 festivals, published in 8 magazines/blogs. His work has appeared in 15 poetry anthologies. Catch him on Facebook as "The stuff wot I wrote' Des Mannay - hooligan Poet".