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On How Terry Griffiths Formed My Youth
(and maybe yours too)
Let us not forget that
Terry Griffiths was a champion.
World champion, no less.
First time of asking.
His smile, his quoiff, his flares,
His almost camp, conscious approach to being on TV -
These things we may remember -
But also, let us not forget him
Lifting that cup,
Instantly becoming a hero.
I learned at an early age
That Wales likes to celebrate its heroes,
And that Wales could produce real heroes.
There was JPR, Ian Rush, the tragic Johnny Owen.
When a Welshman really does well,
The people will reward him.
They will take him to their hearts, I learned.
There was something warming about watching snooker as a kid -
Those long, long evenings in the Easter holidays
When ordinary men, with an unusual talent,
Suddenly became elevated.
In Terry’s moment of glory,
He was simultaneously placed in snooker’s history,
Following on from the likes of Ray Reardon,
Who seemed to have been around
Since the dawn of snooker,
And preceding Welsh wizards who would follow him,
Like Mark Williams.
Terry Griffiths now,
As nothing more than commentator,
With his accent that is almost
A parody of a Welsh accent,
Left out, I’m sure, from any book
Ever written on Cool Cymru,
Not part of the flag-waving crowd
That celebrates anything Welsh
For being Welsh’s sake.
But Terry, think about it,
Was a true pioneer,
Had reason to be proud,
And along with that, was Welsh.