Ghosts haunt the ground at Old Trafford

I used to go regularly to old Trafford with an old friend when his son was unable to use his season ticket. I remember the last mile walk.
Having left the car in the hands of unofficial but secure guardians of a plot of development land off the Stretford Road, we went with the flow of traffic heading for the Ground.
Our journey was hindered as we both jostled to secure the better side for listening. Eventually, we gave up and jostled on, mostly in silence.

I was reminded of those experiences this week, with the exploits of the Lionesses and experiencing the high drama at Wembley. I remembered those visits to Old Trafford, and the overwhelming atmosphere of the stadium as it filled up.

Ghosts haunt the ground at Old Trafford

Even on a quiet day you can feel their presence.
Some, restless around the clock
where time stands still, at four past three
On the south east corner of the stand
as time on other clocks move on.

Some are gleeful spirits
weaving around the highest ribs, when cheers ring out
for modern number sevens or eights.
or mournful for number tens.

Then, the groundlings,
memories scattered around the penalty areas
faintly urging a mis-hit.

Unnamed others leave a shiver.
Can you feel them, entombed
around the car parks?

The silence of the statues
whose masks never slip
although always under scrutiny
from a paused gaze.

Old Trafford. This theatre of dreams
and mausoleum of memories.