Have you seen the film yet? I’ve not – but will do – in the meantime, here’s the poem I wrote about him in 1988.
Eagle Eddie – Superstar
Eddie the Eagle,
broke, short-sighted, accident prone;
ski-jumping plasterer from Cheltenham.
Our first Olympic ski-jump hope,
madcap Eddie, what a bloke!
Broke his jaw, but had no money,
tied it up with garish scarf,
‘Never say die’ our hero muttered,
battled up Olympic path,
forever cast as kamikaze Eddie,
expected now to finish last.
Once, his helmet tied with string
overtook him, plummeting
as he flew though cold clear air
so his helmet, with ‘Eagle’ there
in bold gold letters glittering bright,
that helmet put up such a fight,
it beat our Eddie with a higher score,
undaunted, Eddie goes back for more.
Doggedly he perseveres,
ignores all setbacks, qualms and fears.
February ’88 all’s revealed,
first to go on second jump,
honour reserved for worst in field,
in his throat he feels a lump.
The crowd cries:
“Go, go Eddie the Eagle!”
He squats there, ready,
frosty breath, he takes his time,
waves to all and perches, waiting,
waiting, praying on the line:
“Please let me survive
and come through with everything intact.”
Well, it’s not often you jump off a mountain, is it?
Captured hearts of all sports lovers
flutter madly as he flies
through the air in wild abandon,
hurtles through the wintry skies.
Now lands safely: ecstatic roar!
Trembling legs and flailing arms,
the moment worth a thousand qualms.
Eddie the Eagle, superstar,
hands clasped above his head held high:
“See, I’m an eagle, I can fly.”
Broken chin and bottle lens,
the man who made a million friends.
Polly Stretton © 1988