Thursday, November 09, 2006

Ten thoughts fans

A new list for the end of the week. I did one on films, which you can see here. But this is the one to start us off.

For me, how the crowd contributes to the occasion of a football match is of paramount importance and interest. My first ever game was Lancaster City v Barrow and me and my Dad cheered for the wrong team. My first league match in 1972, Preston North End v Burnley, was made memorable for several pitch invasions (and me getting a bobble hat stolen). When I first started going to Rovers in the 1970s Kevin Bradley grassed on me to the other lads that he'd spotted me crowd watching (It was Mansfield!). No wonder I ended up studying sociology and became a journalist.

I think the whole experience is more sterile and lifeless these days. I miss the edge and I miss the banter, the songs and the clothes. If you like this terrace retro sort of thing, look here and here.

Here are my ten thoughts on... football fans

* The football fans with the wittiest banner - Liverpool v Galatasary, 2002, "Hell - My Arse, You've never been to the Grafton on a Friday Night"

* The most pretentious banners - Liverpool, 2004 "What we achieve in life, echoes through eternity" (my arse)

* Biggest annoying boasters/unsporting whingers on radio phone in - Spurs (before/after the 2002 Worthington Cup Final, after we won 2-1)

* The best dressed - Liverpool 1984 (trainers and tweed)

* The worst bullies - Newcastle 1981 (I was only 15...)

* The most racist - Chelsea 1983 (shamefully booed every touch of their own player, Paul Cannoville)

* The most stupid - Burnley 2000 (smashed up their own town centre, after we won 2-0)

* The most loyal - Manchester City 1999 (Third Division season, crowds went up)

* The most carried away with their own self-importance - Manchester City 2000 (there weren't THAT many of you at Ewood Park)

* The most polite - Fulham (for as long as I can remember)

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