The violent scenes shown on TV this week of the clashes between English and Russian football fans have made me feel both sad and angry and whilst I don’t claim to know who’s at fault or why the fans are rioting, I do know that many innocent people have been caught up in the clashes when all they wanted to do was watch the team they love play the game they love.
I’ve heard people saying that the violence makes them ‘ashamed to be English’, that it’s ‘typical of the English fans’ and even one comment on Facebook that ‘English fans shouldn’t be allowed to travel’. Really? Do people really think that the majority of England (or even football fans in general) would approve of behaviour like this and given the chance, would be happy to join in? That’s certainly not my opinion anyway – to me, football is a game that brings people (and whole communities) together in their love of their own team.
The best example I can think of to tell you about is from last year when Mr Frugal took the kids to the play off final at Wembley to see their beloved Boro play Norwich for a place in the Premiership. They set off ridiculously early and got to Wembley in plenty of time to enjoy the pre-match build up and celebrations around the ground and from the pictures they sent me, fans from both clubs were in the same area without any trouble at all.
The match didn’t go according to plan and Boro lost leaving Master Frugal devastated -the photos below are from half time when they were losing 1-0. The photo Mr Frugal sent me of the tears rolling down Master Frugal’s face at full time broke my heart but I can’t share it on here as I promised him that I wouldn’t although I’m pretty sure you can imagine even without the photo.
So, you can picture the scene – thousands of dejected Boro fans walking out of Wembley with their dreams of promotion to the Premiership shattered and Mr Frugal trying his best not to lose one of our two in the huge crowds. Walking down the steps at Wembley, a complete stranger walked up to Master Frugal and put his arms around him saying that it would be OK, there’d be another season and that if he was going to be a Boro fan then he’d best get used to the downs as well as the ups. Not a huge thing I know but this man was no doubt gutted himself and he still took the time to try and make a child feel a bit better.
We’re all football fans in this house (some more than others) and we don’t condone the violence in France this week, neither do we think it’s typical of English fans.
Please don’t judge all football fans by the few who choose to use football as an excuse for violence.
Don’t miss out on future posts like this – receive updates directly to your inbox by email by adding your email address to the box on the top right of this page and hitting subscribe. You can also find me on BlogLovin, Yummly and Networked Blogs and I’d love to see you over on my Facebook page and on Instagram.