Dumbarton Football Club - Sons of the Rock 1872

Diddy Cups

Diddy Cups by Stephen Watt, DFC Poet in Residence.

Pie-sweat and cigar-smoke from Boghead

stick in the throat

like a funeral sermon's droll anecdotes

about a lost hero. Somewhere,

the buried prize of a Dumbarton memory

is printed in a faded diary

or untidy goals during cup victories

are recorded on crude film

hidden in an attic chest in Silverton.


We all have them. These so-called diddy dreams

when diddy teams lifted diddy cups

and gave our lives sparse joy

instead of giving up.


Like 1940, imagining Bellsmyre lads

beating biscuit tins with spoons

as Sons defeated Vale of Leven 4-2

to lift the Dumbartonshire Cup

or at the height of Beatlemania in 1965

when Castlehill girls

practised skills round milk bottles

after Falkirk were beaten

in the Stirlingshire Cup Final.


These small triumphs

may not be notable

or venerable

but in the lower divisions

these moments become personal; special.


The country can keep their Archie Gemmill

moment because in Dumbarton's back yard

stands a castle, magnet for the dark coats

and G82-lingo. In Levengrove park,

King Robert the Bruce's internal organs

are buried near the sandstone war memorial

of a bronzed angel with golden wings.

Like the Japanese, we paint gold into things

which are supposedly broken, add beauty

to their value,


and in Aitken's part-time players

who believed

their finest days had passed

discover merit in industrious effort;

unearth occasional gems like Froxylias.


No singled-out hero, just a diddy team

with diddy dreams of lifting diddy cups

while the rest of the country

appears to self-destruct.


And now, we're on the cusp.

Rabbie Burns talked of 'a skinful of bruises

and wounds' upon visiting this town

but the crux is, that like this team,

he got through his rounds

to find heaven waiting on the other side.

Something is inside this club's bones

like elephant tusks and volcanic stone

and in the black and gold and white

of supporters' scarves and shadow light,

an occasion is waiting to be written about.


Shout loud for these so-called diddy cups;

it's where the love for the smaller clubs