You’ll Never Walk Alone


News item:
A disgruntled Newcastle United fan has failed in a bid to get himself banned from St James’ Park by invading the pitch.
Kevin Southerton, 26, ran on to the field after Djibril Cisse scored for Sunderland in February’s Tyne-Wear derby.
He told police who pursued and arrested him: “I hope I get banned. I’m sick of watching this.”
Although Newcastle magistrates could have imposed a three-year banning order, they opted to fine him £200.

Now who amongst us hasn’t felt like that at least once in their lives? Anyone who’s spent any time standing in the covered end at The Valley knows that urge only too well. In the 70’s I once watched Charlton draw 0-0 in three consecutive matches, a Saturday-Wednesday-Saturday thrill-fest. It was like undergoing root canal work.

Rubbish

Rubbish

A colleague once wrote of a crusty old fan in Scotland (at some team like Hearts, or Arbroath—you know the type) who every single Saturday took his place in the stand by the players entrance, resplendent in a grubby old mac and woolen bobble hat, and booed his team ON to the pitch. He never missed a home match. Furthermore, after one mid-week away fixture, the team were on the club bus driving home through the pouring rain when they spotted this same fan trudging a lonely trudge through the storm, having been to watch his lads lose away. They took pity on him and picked him up. No sooner had the coach pulled away that our hero stood up at the front of the bus and delivered a long stream of abuse, punctuated by profanities, on what a useless bunch of wankers they were. After 75 yards of this the bus pulled in and the players threw off the old git again.

The Traditional Way to Watch Charlton AFC

The Traditional Way to Watch Charlton AFC

Football fans have a bad rep, but there’s always occasional characters like the examples above which give you renewed hope for mankind in general. At this stage I’d like to draw your attention to to a lovely little book by Jack Bremner entitled “Shit Ground No Fans” a collection of football chants collected from around the country. Many are predictable and repetitive, but there are a few little gems within its 256 pages. One example from Boston United goes (to the tune of John Denver’s Annie’s Song:

You fill up my senses
Like a gallon of Batemans
Like a packet of Seasalt
Like a good pickled egg
Like a night out in Boston
Like a greasy chip buttie
Like Boston United
Come fill me again

Beautiful.

Oddly the great Andy Goram song isn’t included in its pages. Readers will recall when Goram, the then Rangers goalie, had been “exposed” in the press as having a mild form of schizophrenia. Shortly after, opposition fans started chanting “Two Andy Gorams, there’s only two Andy Gorams”

And they say there’s no humour left in the game.

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