Saturday, February 12, 2011

The greatest fans in the world

Blackburn Rovers played Newcastle today, a team followed away by a band of noisy and self-consciously boisterous supporters. Every conversation I overheard as we weaved our way through their throng was about how many they were bringing, how many they took to their other games, while their taunts of the home fans were all about empty seats, we've got more fans than you etc etc.

What a boring, boorish and stupid bunch of cretins some of these fans are. I have no time for any of that rubbish. I could argue the toss about the demographics of a crowded North West, as opposed to a club with a large city region all to its self. But I can't be bothered.

The criteria of certain types of football fans - some idiot Rovers fans included - is that you only qualify as a proper football fan, a good fan, if you wear your replica shirt, have a tattoo, sing all through a game, stalk the streets loudly, drink a lot and, most importantly, to be a real fan you don't question the source of funds of your club or the morality of your players. Sing when you're winning. There's only one Joey Barton.

Slightly unrelated, but at every turn too the Premier League dominates. The players live in a different world to their supporters and yet demand more from them. More money, more encouragement, more stroking of the ego. More promises too of a "world class product" in the "best league in the world".

So, to get to the point. What of those who have a different motivation and appreciate football in a different league and with little prospect of Europe, or seeing World Cup winners? I did meet some of the greatest fans in the world today, they happened to be supporters of Southend United FC. They traveled from Essex to their game at Accrington only for it to be called off 90 minutes before kick off. They came to Ewood instead and witnessed a 0-0 draw. I have heard that Rovers only charged them £20 each. A nice touch, if true.


Anonymous said...

Southend United FC fans are a credit to their club. I have heard many a team/fan talk about their loyalty and support over the years and they truly have some unbelievable dedicated fans who follow them to away games (as do most clubs) but these boys really are something special. If anyone can view the footage of the Shrimpers game against Doncaster in the play off's a few years back when they were getting hammered please do so as this is what football and true support is all about.

Anonymous said...

Very kind words, and true. Just think of us next week on a longer trek to Torquay & they reckon there is a risk of cold weather next week! Frozen pitch this time!
Richard - The Big Shrimp

ToonArmy Miami said...

Some interesting points regarding supporters as a whole, but disagree with comments regarding Southend. Just because you follow lower league doesn,t make you better fans. 1000s of NUFC fans travelled to Birmingham weeks ago for game to be canceled in similar manner

Michael Taylor said...

Quite right. It's just a different way of looking at it. Noisy and many in number doesn't mean best.

Anonymous said...

Very true indeed, i was one of the 100 odd southend fans who decided to go to ewood park then just go home after our game against accrington stanley was called off. Blackburn rovers football club was very helpful and friendly letting us in at £32 for an adult and £15 for 16 and under. To add aswell most of the newcastle fans were as friendly as also, coming up to us and talking to us and feeling sorry for our long travel for it to get called off