Max Scratchmann

Max Scratchmann is a well-known British writer and illustrator.  His poems and short stories have appeared in many anthologies and magazines, and he runs the Edinburgh performance poetry company, Poetry Circus. He is the author of over thirteen books, including the award-winning autobiography about Scottish jute workers in India, The Last Burrah Sahibs, and the unintentionally controversial account of downshifting in the Scottish islands, Chucking It All.

Max Scratchmann

Candy Heart


Mind the Time »

Performances from an anthology celebrating football and memory

Sun 11 March | 15:40 - 16:40 | FREE | The Byre Theatre, Abbey Street, Studio Theatre


Football Songs

So, it's New Year's Day and I'm seventeen and at a football match with my dad,
And it's freezing cold and I'm bored witless and I'm asking myself just why I'm here.
Because it's tradition.
Because it's what fathers and sons do on January the first.
Because my dad waited ten years to have a son and then he got me,
Because he taught me how to ride my bike,
And we built a model railway together, 
And …
There's this ruddy great chasm opening up between us like a huge maw,
And I can at least meet the poor man half way.

And it's not that he doesn't try to get on my wavelength.

We went to the cinema together,
But it was Clockwork Orange and he cringed with embarrassment at all the nude scenes,
And the theatre was worse,
Where he snored right through Hedda Gabler 
And mortified me by saying, And what was all that bloody rubbish about?
In the director's hearing.

And, really, what the hell am I doing here, because,
I'm never going to understand what off-side is no matter how many times you explain it to me,
And I adore you but…
I want to finish reading Catcher in the Rye or be watching the Bergman film that's on BBC Two this afternoon,
Not standing here freezing my bollocks off on this ruddy terrace,
And, yes, I've got my cues off pat by now,
And I only cheer when the men in the blue scarves do,
It's a load of men kicking a ball between two sticks, for fuck's sake,
How much more is there to say about it?
I know it's only once a year
And I owe you that much,

But the years have flown by and 
You're gone,
And I'd give anything to be standing on that freezing terrace with you by my side,
One more time.


Max Scratchmann