Jimmy Johnstone – Garden of Memories

At lunchtime today, in his home town of Viewpark, a Memorial Garden will be officially opened and dedicated to the memory of the unforgettable Jimmy Johnstone.

To mark the occasion, we are proud to re-publish “Heart of a Lion”, our poetic tribute to the Wee Man.

With the heart of a lion,
a Lisbon Lion,
he truly graced ‘The Beautiful Game’:
subtle feints, or a dip
of a shoulder or hip,
to evade the lunge that maims.

With the guile of a lion,
a Lisbon Lion,
he could conjure mighty dread:
sudden spurts, or a spin,
swerving outside or in …
… opposition left for dead.

With the grit of a lion,
a Lisbon Lion,
he would never yield an inch:
standing toe to toe
with a brutal foe,
he was never known to flinch.

With the pace of a lion,
a Lisbon Lion,
he could never be pinned down:
breaking Nature’s laws,
like a primal force,
turning Physics upside down.

With the mane of a lion,
a Lisbon Lion,
he was never too hard to spot:
darting here and there
with that flaming hair …
… and the odd wee loss of plot!

With the pride of a lion,
a Lisbon Lion,
he would always do us proud:
in domestic toil
and on foreign soil,
genius marked him from the crowd.

With the heart of a lion,
a Lisbon Lion,
he faced down the final foe:
“Death, where is thy sting?”
cried ‘The Lord of the Wing’ …
… we were stung to see him go.

Copyright 25thMay1967, January 2011

Thanks for the memories, Jimmy!

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