5 poetic sports stars

01 September 2017 04:24

Lewis Hamilton showed his softer side after posting a poem on Instagram in tribute to Diana, Princess of Wales, 20 years on from her death.

Here Press Association Sport looks at some other sports stars who also tried their hand at rhyming couplets and iambic pentameter.


The three-time world heavyweight boxing champion, who died last year, was famous for his verses, which he often used to gain a psychological edge over opponents.

Here are a couple of his best efforts:

"Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee

The hands can't hit what the eyes can't see."

"I've wrestled with alligators,

I've tussled with a whale.

I done handcuffed lightning

And throw thunder in jail.

You know I'm bad.

Just last week, I murdered a rock,

Injured a stone, hospitalised a brick.

I'm so mean, I make medicine sick."

Wayne Rooney

The former England football captain spoke about his interest in writing poetry in an interview in 2015.

"I used to love writing poems before I was with Coleen, just normal poems. I used to like to write little stories," he said in quotes reported by the Daily Mirror.

"So when I first got with Coleen I used to write her a lot of poems but that's died down a little bit of late."

But he also wrote about the other love of his life - football.

Former England Under-17 coach Dick Bate told Press Association Sport in 2014 about an occasion when Rooney read a self-penned poem called 'When Saturday Comes' to his team-mates at the end of a tournament.

"I think it took most of the group aback," Bate said.

"Here was a young boy just expressing his love for England in the best format and most succinct manner he could.

"I have never seen anyone stand up and do that before. I will never forget it."


The Manchester United and France star is a bit of a wordsmith on the quiet - albeit spoken rather than written.

In 2016 he was filmed by Telefoot freestyling in French to the beat of Grandmaster Flash's 'The Message' alongside Antoine Griezmann and earlier this summer he posted a video of himself and now United team-mate Romelu Lukaku rapping while on their summer holiday in California.


At the end of the documentary 'Being Paul Gascoigne' the former England footballer recited one of his own poems about his battle with alcoholism.

One section of Gascoigne's poem read: "OK, once again, I'm just an alcoholic

"But some people think I'm supersonic

"The help I've had to get through this

"Is definitely better than being on the p***

"I've made mistakes which make me sad

"But for f***'s sake, I'm not all that bad."


Giant England rugby lock Itoje writes poetry to unwind between matches, but was modest about his ability when asked about it by the Daily Telegraph in January.

"It has been a little bit overplayed. People make it seem as if I'm William Wordsworth. I wouldn't mind, if I had those skills," he said.

Here's one Itoje original called 'There Comes A Time', so you can judge for yourself:

"There comes a time

When a boy must become a man

When fear must turn to bravery

When thoughts must turn to belief

When this belief must turn to action

When one must love and one must hope

When preparation turns to performance

When strangers turn to friends

When friends turn to foes

When joy fulfils your mind

When anger fills your heart

When one must stand up and lead

When one must sit back and listen

There comes a time, when the time must be taken."

Source: PA