Stephen Watt

Stephen Watt is Dumbarton FC’s poet in residence, the author of poetry collections Spit (2012) and Optograms (2016), the first crime poet to appear at Bloody Scotland Crime Writing Festival, and one half of gothic spoken word/music collaborative Neon Poltergeist. Stephen is the previous winner of Poetry Rivals Slam, StAnza Digital International Poetry Prize, the Tartan Treasures award, and the Hughie Healy Memorial trophy. His next collection will be a book of crime poetry earmarked to be published by Red Squirrel Press.

Photo: David Vallis


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


Vs Raith Rovers 11/03/2017

Bogged by the River Leven’s haar, 
veins of white hair gel
stain their beaming faces
from behind the advertisement boards.
Ball boys, ball girls
crouch, miniature sprinters,
scampering down the lines
for the loose passes, heavy touches.

Their memories are often netted,
whetted by sweated headers
into bottom corners,
silhouetted bicycle kicks
ricocheting in off vibrating posts
whose metallic toll
become the ghost-sounds of their youth.

S l o w i t d o w n w h e n i n f r o n t,
the experienced ones
puff, grunt, blatant in their reluctance
to retrieve the ball. Stall. Squander.
Savvy as any veteran footballer –
only shorter.

They are fans on the trackside
trying on the future for size.


Stephen Watt

First published in Dumbarton FC matchday programme