Referee to have poem published

A PARKINSON'S disease sufferer and an award-winning football referee who thought poetry was for wimps is having one of his verses published in an anthology.

A PARKINSON'S disease sufferer and an award-winning football referee who thought poetry was for wimps is having one of his verses published in an anthology.

Gordon Barnes, 51, of Orchard Way, Holton, near Halesworth, hated poetry at school but now writes it in the early hours of the morning when he is having trouble sleeping because he has the disease.

He entered one of his poems, Young, Fit and Single, in the United Press National Poetry Anthology competition before it was selected by the Lancashire-based publishers for different anthology entitled Rhyme and Reason which will be published in December.

He said: "I'm feeling quite bigheaded and proud of myself. I left school without any qualifications and had though poetry was for wimps but with age and circumstance my attitude has changed. Now it is a way of expressing what I want to say to myself in the early hours of the morning. I hope my poetry will help people to feel better and hope they get some enjoyment out of it."

Young, Fit and Single pays tribute to his wife Linda, daughters Michelle and Victoria, who recently underwent major heart surgery, his grandson Harvey and his great friend Brian Winn who helped him through his early days of Parkinson's ten years ago.

Gordon has already seen his name in print after he submitted a piece entitled Exercise to the Young Alert Parkinson's Partners and Relatives magazine five years ago.

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He said he has written many poems during the night, mainly about family, friends and football, but in the cold light of day many get crumpled up and binned.

Although he was born in Holton, he has lived in Scunthorpe and RAF Coltishall where he worked as a fireman in the Royal Air Force, before returning to Suffolk and winning lots of cups for refereeing at school, local and charity football matches.

Young, Fit and Single

Young, fit, single and not a care in the world.

Wine, women and song, it can't get better than this.

After travelling a few miles and graduating from the university of life I find Linda, who will be my wife. It can't get better than this.

Middle age and two great kids, I feel fine and it can't get better than this.

Parkinson's makes itself known to me, feeling sorry for myself, it can't get worse than this.

Meeting Brian and becoming great mates makes me see it can get better than this.

Victoria's heart operation is a success, Michelle makes me a granddad.

It don't get better than this.

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