Let Rip: The Beautiful Game

From the live euphoria of football, to homosexual desire and the macho body in action, Lee Campbell explores “Balls and sports, men in shorts. Football with Dad both happy and sad. Dad watching one way, me quite the other”. The pitch is a patchwork of memory. The Beautiful Game is beginning. Roll up and take your seats.


Discover the same other
whilst under the cover

Creeping seeping peeping
covert operations
my teenage fascinations
awkward altercations
with non queer populations

Sensations that taught me
if ever they caught me
I got very clever very clever at seeing without being seen

Saturday afternoon football with my Dad in the Nineties
The beautiful game – watching in the stadium, listening in the car on the radio

Chelsea v Arsenal
Dad watched the match
I watched the players

Dad remembers the midfielder’s tackle
I remember the midfielder’s tackle

Dad remembers the midfielder being shown the red card
I remember the midfielder’s red jockstrap showing

Dad remembers listening to hear who
will next play against Chelsea
I remember listening to imagine the midfielder

Dad remembers telling me that as I am into football I might like rugby
I remember agreeing

Me as a teen, clever at not being seen
Fancying men
Being called ‘one of them’
Balls and sports
Men in shorts
Football with Dad, both happy and sad
Dad watching one way, me quite the other
Nothing beats a good tackle seen undercover



Lee Campbell’s experimental performance poetry films have been selected for many international film festivals since 2019 including WICKED QUEER 2021, Boston, USA, Splice Film Festival 2021, Brooklyn, USA, Darkroom Festival, London and REEL Poetry Film Festival, Houston, USA, 2022.