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Away fan in the Park Road End

By Rob Watson :  05/01/2010 :  Comments (51) :
Just thought I'd share my experience of being in the Park Road end at Goodison Park for the recent FA Cup game Everton v Carlisle. My Dad's from Carlisle and after the 7,000 Carlisle tickets had been snapped up by season ticket holders etc, I went onto the Everton website and bought tickets on general sale for myself, Dad and my girlfriend, mostly as a Christmas present for my Dad.

We had a great view, ten rows back, right behind the goal. Turned out to be the goal where Carlisle scored their well deserved equaliser. Dad and I couldn’t stop ourselves from jumping out of our seats, punching the air and letting out a little cheer. This prompted someone behind us to loudly shout for the stewards to have us thrown out of the ground, the steward shrugged as if to say ‘they haven’t done anything to deserve being thrown out’, then the fan shouted that when it all ‘kicks off’ it would be the steward to blame because he had warned them.

For the rest of the game we were not really wanting Carlisle to score, being happy to settle for 1-1 and a replay. I think it’s a sad case of affairs when you can’t watch a game of football without being able to cheer when your team score a goal; we hadn’t taunted anybody or rubbed anyone’s face in it. The ground wasn’t completely full, so we hadn’t stopped any Everton fans from getting access to the game.

Also, I would have thought any neutral going along to merely watch a game of football, would have found themselves pulling for the plucky underdog, in this case Carlisle. In amongst that atmosphere, the neutral, maybe sampling a game for the first time, would not find football at all appealing.

I know it’s a massive sport but surely you still want to encourage new fans. I’m more of a Rugby League fan than football and often at Warrington games I have sat or stood amongst opposition fans and never once felt threatened. Including last year's Challenge Cup Final with several Huddersfield fans around us, watching their team in a Final, searching for their first major trophy in over 50 years and, even though Warrington won, we never once felt any antagonism from the Huddersfield fans.

Before she met me, my girlfriend followed football closely, but hardly knew what Rugby League was; now she has been completely converted to Rugby League, because of the contrasting behaviour of both the fans and the players in the two sports. This had been the first football match she had ever been to and I suspect it may well be her last.

I’m fully aware this isn’t specifically an Everton problem, but I was just wondering if anyone out there has had a similar experience of being in the ‘wrong end’?

I must also add my thanks to the three gentlemen sat near us that shook my hand after the game and said Carlisle had been unlucky.

Reader Comments

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Richard Osborne
1   Posted 05/01/2010 at 21:37:43

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I’m not suggesting you should have been thrown out but any ’away fan’ buys tickets in the home end, you should expect the worst. If you honestly thought you would be welcomed and congratulated on a hard fought battle, well you’re incredibly naive.

I’ve sat in the home end, away at Villa, Birmingham, WBA, Wolves, Coventry, Bristol, Newcastle, Leeds, West Ham, Liverpool, Portsmouth and Tottenham. Every time we have scored (which hasn’t been that often admittedly!) I have kept quiet.

You break that golden rule, I’ve got no sympathy for you. Sorry.
Nathan Ward
2   Posted 05/01/2010 at 21:42:39

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Sadly, Everton — like every club — has its share of idiots.
Nick Entwistle
3   Posted 05/01/2010 at 21:50:58

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They may both play on grass but there’s no point in comparing the two sets of fans. Just the way it is.

When I’m in with the home fans when Everton play in London, I know to shut up and sit on my hands. But you’d think against a lower league team you wouldn’t get a response like that, and looks to me that in his need to have you thrown out he causes a ’situation’.

It's because of people like him that segregation is needed where most others, like the guys who shook your hand, really don’t care...
Robert Daniels
4   Posted 05/01/2010 at 21:38:21

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Rob, Sorry to hear about your experience at Goodison, what you probably don't know is that there has always been a section of fans in the Park End, that have always watched football there. They will remember the days of the seventies when the away fans were in there as well. There was allways trouble back then in that stand, I was a frequent visitor there and watched most of my football from there.

Now it is just blues in there and they don't expect any other fans in there with them. I went there a couple of seasons ago with a friend of mine who was a Liverpool fan and it was a derby game. We were in the corporate section and unfortunatly the bastards scored, my mate couldn't contain himself and jumped up, it sounds pretty much like your response, not over the top.

The row in front then jumped up and caused murder with my mate and I told them to chill out and he was my brother. They wouldn't let it go and the police arrived on the scene and my friend was asked to leave ten minutes before half time. I was outraged — I had paid 10 grand to sit there and thought you could take people to the game and in this day and age people would be reasonable, especially in the corporate section. The police knew he hadn't done anything bit still threw him out because of the behaviour of a couple of daft pricks.

So I'm sorry you didn't enjoy your trip to GP, but we're all not like that. By the way, these two pricks had to put up with me waiting till a quiet moment, then shouting down there ears every chance I got, "Come on you, Blues",, and making them jump every five minutes.

Needless to say, they moved the following season. I behaved like them in the seventies so I'm no mug, and they got a taste of how it felt. We all have to grow up one day, but for some it never happens.

Anyway Rob, good luck for the rest of the season... and you should've won, and would've only for an injury to one of our players.

Nick Entwistle
5   Posted 05/01/2010 at 22:01:42

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Comparing football and rugby fans that is... may as well compare tennis or cricket.
Ciarán McGlone
6   Posted 05/01/2010 at 22:21:28

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I’ve seen that before at Everton games. I brought a red mate to a derby and he cheered when a certain Mr Owen scored....

Luckily enough, there was a local red behind us who did the same thing and he got the brunt of it... absolute disgrace to be honest.

Some people need to take their heads out of their arses.
Keith Glazzard
7   Posted 05/01/2010 at 22:16:47

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Hi Rob - I’m older than you, probably your dad, and I share your dismay that you couldn’t just enjoy your day out as it should have been.

The main positive I can see in your account was that the stewards got it right. You weren’t asked to leave, and, should shit-brains have kicked off himself they would probably have protected you. But scum like that can spoil anyone’s peace of mind, we know.

Tell your dad he’s got a club with a current team to be proud of, keep behind them, and come back again in 4 or 5 years in the top flight. Its been done before, and can be again.

Happy New Year.
James Thomas
8   Posted 05/01/2010 at 22:31:09

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Being a London Blue, I have spent as many matches with the wrong fans as I have with our own (until this season — thank you ESCLA). Once, aged 11 or so, I cheered in the North Bank at Highbury when we scored a meaningless consolation and was abused. From then on, I’ve kept my mouth shut.

Chelsea fans are the very worst... odious fuckers. The atmosphere is nearly always poisonous to away fans though, just a sad indictment on the game I suppose.

Trevor Williams
9   Posted 05/01/2010 at 22:56:32

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Rob

Whenever I go to another team's ground and sit in the home end, I have to control my emotions as, in most cases, you will get abuse (by the minority, I admit).

Putting the shoe on the other foot, do you think I would have got the same stick as you had the game been at Carlisle and I jumped up when Everton equalised?

Also, a neutral supporter certainly wouldn't jump up as you described.
Kunal Desai
10   Posted 05/01/2010 at 23:31:45

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I experienced this a good few years back when we played Fulham in an FA Cup tie, think it was a replay at Loftus Road. Me and a mate had tickets for the home end. We weren’t wearing the colours or annoying anyone until an old man in front of us heard us talking about the line-up. We didn’t take notice of what he muttered to us or said but because we ignored him he went over to the steward, then a few other Fulham fans caught on to us that we were away fans as the steward checked our tickets and led us away.

Of course, it didn’t help the matter when my mate started giving V-signs to the home fans. Thankfully the steward was understanding and, instead of us being ejected out the ground, he took us to the away end where there were a few empty seats.

Andy McNabb
11   Posted 06/01/2010 at 01:36:07

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Sorry mate. You’ve been away from the game for too long. This is what happens. Whether it’s right or wrong, if you are in the away end, you sit on your hands and keep your mouth shut.

I have had some great conversations, particularly with Leeds and Newcastle fans who found themselves in the Bullens over the years. But there again, I have something resembling a brain and find it possible to converse with supporters from other teams.

If I had parked myself in the middle of the Carlisle fans on Saturday, I would have suffered the same fate and possibly a lot worse.

Over here in Melbourne, our local team is ’Victory’. I can’t even bring myself to attend because so many of their ’fans’ are intent on bringing the very worst of hooliganism and vitriol, their grandfathers and fathers have spoken about in Europe. Makes me sick.

I think we have to look at the positives, few though they may be, and mention the ovation that Carlisle got at the end of the game from the Everton support.

Dave Wilson
12   Posted 06/01/2010 at 07:18:23

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Completely forgot myself when Cahill slammed the ball into the roof of Arsenal’s net on our first visit to the Emirates. Within seconds I was aware of hundreds of Gooners glaring at me, fortunately they were proper footie fans, they knew I wasn’t taunting them and I was able to enjoy some terrific banter with them for the rest of the game. I got slaughtered when Van Persie equalised, but given the circumstances you wouldn’t have it any other way.

I always go in the home section at Pompey too and although I get plenty of stick, but I feel safe to give it back as it's always good natured. It probably helps if you're knocking on a bit — not seen as a threat — but wouldn’t it be great to get back to those days when segregation wasn’t deemed necessary? It won't happen I know.

I hope you are able to show your dad some of the responses to your letter. I honestly believe the posts here are a far truer reflection of the way most Evertonians see this. It was embarrassing to read your letter, but you do right to draw attention to this incident, maybe the people who complained will read this and realise what prats they’ve made of themselves... and the rest of us.
Mark Murphy
13   Posted 06/01/2010 at 07:42:39

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10 grand to sit in the Park End? Times have changed since the Barmy Park End Army!

The worst I experienced was at Leicester when Dunc got sent off. Even the women were threatening us (me and my 9-year-old son).
And Rugby League has its share of knobs too - try sitting amongst the wrong fans at Wigan Saints! Its wrong but sadly common — personally as a traveller I find that we as a nation are simply more agressive and intolerant in general but our football fans are probably not as bad as most when it comes to mixing with the opposition.
Jeremy Buckley
14   Posted 06/01/2010 at 09:17:57

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I’m very sorry to hear of your experience, Rob. I’ve experienced this in London grounds, most specifically at Upton Park (or Boleyn Ground, depending on how awkward the particular hammer you’re talking to is).

The worst case was when I tried to take my dad into the family enclosure and he leapt up when Carsley put one in and a guy behind me tried to climb over his own kids to get to us, swearing at us and telling us to get over to our own part of the ground with the rest of the ’northern scum’ or some such expletive that now escapes me.

I’m pretty ashamed to hear that a similar thing’s happened to you ’on my turf’, as they say ’daaaarn saaaarf’...
Gavin Ramejkis
15   Posted 06/01/2010 at 09:28:15

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Rob, I was behind and to your right several rows back. To be fair, what do you expect when you celebrate a goal surrounded by opposing fans and one of you did look backwards celebrating facing us.

I’ve had similar experiences at other stadia over the years and know when it’s a good idea to celebrate and another to keep quiet, after all the fans are segregated for a reason; to stop those fans who are more likely to take a swing at an opposition fan having the chance to do so.

Charlie Dixon
16   Posted 06/01/2010 at 10:14:18

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I was chucked out of the Chelsea game at Stamford Bridge last month when our third went in. You should be grateful that our stewards are more lenient.

I think it’s all very well saying to sit on your hands and keep your emotions in check, but that isn’t always as easy as it sounds.

My only comment to your post, and a valuable lesson I have now learnt, is, if buying tickets in opposing ends is necessary, opt for the family or main stands. The Park & St Ends are best left for blues, however depressing that might seem.
Ian McPherson
17   Posted 06/01/2010 at 10:25:35

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I was at the Chelsea game too and when our third went in I had to roar into my scarf and sit still. Worst ever was Millwall away in the cup. I think it was Kilbane who missed from 6 yards in the last few minutes, I stood up and fuckin' let rip at him. The homes fans copped it was because he missed.... Myself and the mate never left a ground so quick.
Nick Entwistle
18   Posted 06/01/2010 at 10:33:03

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I was at Millwall too Ian, with their fans behind their home end. What a nasty bunch of fans they are. Only going to the game so they can shout "cunt" in public. Smoking weed, hurling abuse... even at their own players when they were winning!

I left pretty sharpish then forgot where the tube stop was and found myself walking round that part of town for over an hour to find a tube stop. How Iost thousands going in the same direction, I do not know...

Mike Allison
19   Posted 06/01/2010 at 10:51:35

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I seem to be out of synch but I don’t really understand the fuss here. You bought tickets in the wrong part of the ground then stood up and cheered when the home fans conceded a goal, and all that happened was one bloke said something to a steward? It seems to me you did pretty well.

You shouldn’t really have been there for a start, that’s why they segregate, so you’d surely be aware of a need for some kind of sensitivity or understanding? What I don’t understand is why I could only find obstructed view tickets if the ground wasn’t full (official attendance was only about 31,000). You were also in specifically the wrong part of the ground, very little way for you to know but the Park End is where the people who enjoy baiting the away fans go as they’re nearer to them.

The other fans shook your hand and commiserated at the end, and the steward basically took your side and let you stay there? What’s the problem? Was it seriously only one bloke out of the whole of the Park End, and all he did was say something to a steward?

Actually a fairly similar thing once happened to me at Nottingham Forest (so it was a while ago). Me and my older brother are both Evertonians whereas my little brother and his mate are Forest fans. My Dad, who supports neither, had taken us all and we were sitting in the Forest ’hardcore’. When some lads behind us kicked up a fuss and called the policeman over, the other Forest fans stuck up for us and pointed out that we hadn’t done anything wrong. Eventually the lads behind got kicked out as they carried on being twats all the way through. They actually waited for us outside and one of them pointed us out to the other as we left but they didn’t do anything. I can’t say I felt the need to moan about it to anyone though.
Mark Stone
20   Posted 06/01/2010 at 11:58:59

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Totally agree with Mike Allison here.

The person did the right thing by making the steward aware of you (he’d probably seen similar situations turn nasty before). Sitting in the home end is never a problem (even if you are known to be an away fan) as long as you sit tight and take the banter with a pinch of salt.

If you bring attention to yourself by jumping up and down when your team score then I’m afraid at least one of the 6,000 people your sharing a stand with are going to get a bit frustrated with you and that can lead to trouble.
Alan McGuffog
21   Posted 06/01/2010 at 12:35:22

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So, let me get this right: cheering on your team at a sporting event is provocative behaviour. Jesus wept! Because of this provocation, any brutish behaviour by the knuckle scrapers behind the goal is justified, is it?
Bit like the Jews antagonising the Nazi’s in 1930s Germany... blacks antagonising the Klan in Alabama etc.

There is another thread on the go wondering why the RS are the media darlings and we are the barbarians. The answer is above!

I dislike heartily the way Sky want to portray us as face-painted, jester-hat-wearing "lads". But this is preferable to the way things were in the 1970s... I for one don’t want to go back to the days when as soon as you got past Warrington on the way to Maine Road or Old Trafford you had to take a Trappist vow!
And don’t even get me going on the gobshites that follow us away from home... then again those Asian families that live in Blackburn, Bolton, Burnley etc don’t half provoke us eh! What do they expect ?

David Hallwood
22   Posted 06/01/2010 at 12:35:46

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This applies to the other thread about ’friendly’ derby games. My uncle who use to follow Everton home and away (sadly long since died) in the 40s-60s always put the blame for football holliganism on the RS and MotD. His theory was that, prior to MotD starting in the early 60s, people just went to the game and there was no ’ends’, MotD started at the time of when the RS were starting to become a force again after being in the old 2nd Division, it was the height of Beatlemania and it was a time that (allegedly) the Kop was full of whitty, spontaneous chants and good old singsongs, that was beamed into everyone’s house via MotD.

My uncle said that, within a season, every ground started to mimic the Kop and very quickly ’ends’ formed, and even more quickly, banter turned into violence and that’s been the pattern ever since.

It’s difficult to ever envisage a time when people will be able to go to a game and shout and scream, but I agree that people who go to games should realise this and act accordingly.
Gavin Ramejkis
23   Posted 06/01/2010 at 13:07:32

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Alan McGuffog, you don’t by any chance work for the "PC Department" or in Human Remains (HR aka Personnel) somewhere do you? Comparing football fans with Nazis? Got to be one of the most extreme responses that put even my replies to shame.
Gareth Humphreys
24   Posted 06/01/2010 at 13:03:35

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As a 16-year-old, I had a punch thrown at me at Old Trafford in our 3-0 win there when the Stretford End was being redeveloped. My crime was the same as our Carlisle fan — cheering a goal for my team.

People need to get a grip of themselves and, if they think fisticuffs is the answer, then give them lifetime bans from every football ground in the country.

Richard Osborne
25   Posted 06/01/2010 at 13:14:40

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Alan McGuffog - That has to be one of the biggest over reactions I’ve ever heard! Hilarious!

I’m looking forward to coming back to the UK in April, I might even catch a game, but only once I’ve shined up my dock-martins, shaved my head and shouted a couple of ’Zeig Heil’s’. My God man, what planet are you on?

Frankly, if I went in a home end as and away fan and acted the twat, jumping up and down when my team scored, I’d expect at the very least someone to tell me to sit fucking down.

Anyone who wouldn’t is not only completely and utterly naive but they have completely failed to understand the very tribal, working-class roots and identity of football. Is it right? Probably not in your PC, butterfly-filled, Utopia but them is the facts fellas.
Mike Allison
26   Posted 06/01/2010 at 13:23:25

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Alan McGuffog are you serious? I think there’s some serious need to defend some absolutely ridiculous things you’ve just said there.

How do you get from what Rob said, then our responses, to the Jews in 1930s Germany and blacks in Alabama?

I’m probably giving you more attention than your imbecilic post deserves, but let’s take it seriously, at least for now.

"So,let me get this right, cheering on your team at a sporting event is provocative behaviour. Jesus wept !" Taken at face value, no, but sitting in the section of the other team’s fans, then yes, frankly it is, and if Gavin was indeed behind that group specifically and it was one of them that turned round to the home fans then they haven’t exactly gone about things in the right way have they? As I said, we’ve all sat in the wrong section at some point, its hardly a terrible crime, but you’ve got to go about things the right way.

"Because of this provocation any brutish behaviour by the knuckle scrapers behind the goal is justified is it ?" This is the sentence that is absolutely ridiculous. Find me anything on here that says ’brutish’ behaviour is justified... No, I couldn’t either. Was there even any brutish behaviour anyway? According to Rob’s account ONE fan reported them to the steward, not hit them, swung a punch, swore at them but REPORTED THEM TO THE STEWARD (sorry for the caps but if someone can tell me how to format italics on here I’ll gladly do it in future). There was no brutish behaviour, nothing happened to them. You then go on to use this sentence as justification for a rant that is not relevant to the thread, certainly not the original post. Its almost like (and Ciaran might appreciate this if he doesn’t mind the mild dig) you’ve read a critical thinking textbook and tried to use all the fallacious arguments at once as you even go from Rob’s account to a "the way things were in the 1970’s...I for one don’t want to go back to the days when as soon as you got past Warrington on the way to Maine Road or Old Trafford you had to take a Trappist vow !" Ridiculous.

As I asked in my first post, was it really ONE person in the whole Park End, and all they did was shout to the steward?
Alan McGuffog
27   Posted 06/01/2010 at 14:08:09

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Hi Gavin, that one made me smile... PC — moi? The HR section at my place considered me the reincarnation of Benny Hill.

Mike, you ask if I’m serious... well only partly. But in answer to one of your points I can only say that "enjoying baiting opposition supporters" is, in my world, fairly brutish.

But each to his own.

Tim Nichols
28   Posted 06/01/2010 at 15:43:21

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It’s very sad that a football fan can’t sit anywhere in the ground.

I had an experience at Eastlands last year. I couldn’t get into the away end so sat with the City supporters. The abuse that was hurled at our players was a disgrace. Was I in the ’wrong part of the ground’.... no, I support Everton, and want to watch from wherever I can get a seat, but — according to Mike Allison — I was in the wrong place... what nonsense, the stewards are there to protect ALL.

The stewards at Eastlands did nothing about the behaviour of these so called supporters. Why the hatred? We should have better stewardship at all grounds.
Keith Glazzard
29   Posted 06/01/2010 at 15:48:32

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Gavin - I’m afraid if you want to find a card carrying neoNazi in England today you could save yourself a lot of time by going straight to a football ground on a Saturday. I claim that you can spot them a mile off, but my woolly minded liberal Guardian reader mates accuse me of labeling people unfairly.

As for Alan McGuffog. The man, to paraphrase Alf Garnett, is nothing but an unscrupulous scouse git. I base this opinion on the firmly held belief that he owes me a San Miguel, and has done since 1984. I rest my case.
Alan McGuffog
30   Posted 06/01/2010 at 16:10:43

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Cobblers Glazzard. It was Cruzcampo! I think we are trying to get his brother on loan.
Tom Harries
31   Posted 06/01/2010 at 16:23:27

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"my woolly minded liberal Guardian reader mates"

Are there other kinds of Guardian readers?
Keith Glazzard
32   Posted 06/01/2010 at 16:31:46

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Alan - as I am in no position to bargain, I accept the admission, apology and Iberia ticket to Barcelona (one way will be OK). I will purchase la cerveza at no extra expense to yourself.

Tom - all I can say is, Beware the Guardianista Ultras.

Mike Green
33   Posted 06/01/2010 at 16:42:25

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I’ll be honest - you have to keep your wits about you as a home fan in the home end sometimes never mind an away fan in the home end. We are talking about football remember. I know its wrong, and ugly and moronic but unfortunately it comes with the territory.

Every derby me and our kid sit in the Gwladys and he’s a red. He doesn’t wear his colours, he doesn’t make a sound and if the RS score he takes himself off to the toilets and punches the air.

Unfortunately these are the sacrifices you have to make if you have to sit amongst the opposition in order to watch a game.

Plus, lets be right, if you do jump around like a loon if your team score and dont expect a rise out of the home support you’ve got no more intelligence than the morons that cant take it as friendly banter.
David Hallwood
34   Posted 06/01/2010 at 17:05:36

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Oi, Tom are you trying to put us Guardian readers in the same bracket? What do you call that? Racist or Guardianist. Speaking of which, there was a good article about Man U finances today. Scary stuff.
Mike Allison
35   Posted 06/01/2010 at 18:42:30

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Yes Tim, you were in the wrong place. That is quite definitely not ’nonsense’, that is a statement of fact, it is not my opinion. Football matches are segregated with the teams’ fans sitting in separate areas. If you sit in the other team's area, you are in the wrong place.

I have at no stage said that this makes you in any way fair game for abuse, I haven’t said you are causing trouble, I haven’t said you deserve what you get, I haven’t said it justifies abuse, swearing, etc. I’ve barely said anything and people seem to be reading into what I have said something they can whip themselves into a frenzy over and argue against. I’m sorry lads, I simply haven’t said it.

As I’ve already said, I’ve sat in the ’wrong place’ myself at times, and I would have thought we all know how to behave in that situation.

I did make a point of asking if one fan shouting to a steward out of the whole of the Park End was really the kind of problem to write in about and I stand by that. I wasn’t there, maybe it was more intimidating than it sounds, but from the OP’s actual account, I really don’t see the fuss.
Chris Butler
36   Posted 06/01/2010 at 19:37:59

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Football is a passionate game... I mean it could happen anywhere, very surprised at Fulham but let's be honest, it’s expected if you jump up to get shouted at. I’ve seen quite a few encounters between Everton and Liverpool supporters in the ground.

But simply it says home fans only. It's just like I shouldn’t have to worry about it but if I got tickets for Anfield I wouldn’t wear my Everton colours round the grounds. At most away games, I keep my colours hidden just incase any incidents happen.

Benfica fans sat amongst the Everton fans and never got into any bother and why should they? About 4 Hull supporters sat in front of me last year and never got into any bother; I realised they were Hull supporters as they pointed Barmby out. They sat down when the goals were scored but this article is ridiculous as nothing happened to you as you weren’t ejected or abused by any other supporters.

Tony Doran
37   Posted 06/01/2010 at 22:27:06

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Totally against that sort of behaviour; unfortunately, it has always been rife in the game unlike other sports like rugby union or league or cricket.

You can count yourself lucky as a friend of my was recently at an away game in the opposing end (I think it was Man Utd) trying not to get excited when we were on the attack when, in a moment of quite and calm in the stadium, his phone rang out to the sound of Z-Cars...

Karl Masters
38   Posted 07/01/2010 at 01:17:31

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Last season I had the ’pleasure’ of 3 similar experiences:

1/ in a corporate box at Upton Park when we scored 3 goals in 4 minutes. Trying to keep a lid on that was bloody difficult, but I did it out of respect to my West Ham mates who had invited me to the match.

2/ FA Cup Semi against Man Utd at Wembley. Try watching that penalty shootout without giving the game away! Luckily quite a few other Blues in their section, but there was fighting when they clocked some of us and you had to keep your wits about you.

3/ FA Cup Final versus Chelsea. Only ticket I could get was from touts right amongst Chelsea hardcore in the upper tier. Amazingly, I found myself sat next to 3 other Evertonians, a middle aged couple and a woman on her own. When Saha scored we leapt up and they clocked us, although again there were lots of Evertonians in that section. We had to be careful after that and of course when Lampard hit the winner we got plenty of abuse.

Point I suppose I am making is that if you sit amongst the other team’s fans it’s common sense to keep your reactions toned down, however difficult it is. You might say you shouldn’t have to, but on the other hand you should not really be there at all so a bit of common sense is required.
Keith Glazzard
39   Posted 07/01/2010 at 02:48:42

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Its only footy.

And even if you find yourself in the midst of the opposition, simple human dignity is all that’s asked.

Some great stories here about banter, and me and the brother (more later) can tell, hopefully briefly, some ourselves. The Baseball Ground comes readily to mind, Latchford header, last minute or two. Smashing blokes we were privileged to stand with congratulated us on the quality of our play. I wasn’t that impressed myself. Oh happy day.

But the world turns, and we move on, not always for the better, but often so.

Football tribalism is no bad thing in itself, because identity, particularly one that can be associated with high ideals, is good for every one of us. But, while every tribe knows and to some extent fears the outsider, the best tribes offer hospitality to the traveller.

Even those Cumbrian buggers from Carlisle who got us all arguing amongst ourselves.

Any way, they can do us no more harm as they are up to their armpits in snow. Bloody good job there wasn’t a replay if you ask me.
Keith Glazzard
40   Posted 07/01/2010 at 03:20:20

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Sorry, me again

and Tony Doran, I met a lad with the same name, relocated from Southport to the Port, many many years ago. Please tell me it isn’t you. Alan McGuffog is just about all I can handle at the moment.

Speaking of which, why has Cruzcampo (Hermano de) not appeared in the Rumour Mill? We need to know!
Tim Nichols
41   Posted 07/01/2010 at 10:13:10

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Mike, I wasn’t in the ’wrong place’ I was with the wrong type of people — a big difference. People who should behave more appropriately, not hurl abuse to players because of their colour or because of their shirt. This needs more effective stewarding.

You’re taking football back to the 70’s with this mentality; let's move it forward and all appreciate the game.
Tony Doran
42   Posted 07/01/2010 at 10:35:44

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Kieth, glad to say I’ve never lived in Southport and avoid the Port like the plague. There is an Anthony Doran who also posts on here so I now call myself Tony to stop any confusion. Maybe this other Doran is your man? Cheers for now...
Ernie Baywood
43   Posted 07/01/2010 at 10:48:34

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You’d have to say we was a bit stupid for thinking he could get away with it, but in 95 there was a very fat Man Utd fan right in the centre of the Gwladys Street end (I’m talking row W, seat 105 or similar).

He was a decent enough type and watching him it was clear he thought he was enjoying banter with the young scallies that frequent that block of the stand. Then someone spat at him, then another, then another, then another. The little pricks were starting to get the idea that there were others around who would back them up against a much bigger man. Then they started punching him.

Yes, a moron for being there on his own, but I remember it as a very sad moment. The guy had done fuck all but be a Manc.
Mike Allison
44   Posted 07/01/2010 at 16:44:34

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No Tim, I’m not doing anything, you are again reading things into my post that simply aren’t there. Argue against what you can read not what you think you can take the moral high ground against, I simply haven’t said what you want me to have said. You were quite straightforwardly and literally sitting in the wrong place. At a Man City vs Everton game there is a section for the Everton fans and a section for the Man City fans. If you’re an Everton fan sitting in the Man City section you’re in the wrong place. That isn’t my ’attitude’ that’s what it says in the clubs ticket sales policy, its in the policing policy etc.

Again, I make no attempt to defend or justify any behaviour you’ve witnessed that wasn’t nice, but it is true that you were sitting in the wrong place.
Dave Wilson
45   Posted 07/01/2010 at 19:56:51

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Mike, was he really sitting in the wrong place?

I understand the point you are making, but Everton were happy to take his money, if the tickets Rob bought stated clearly "no visiting fans" then fair do’s, he’d have known the score. But I’m looking at a Park End ticket for that match and it doesn't say anything of the sort — unless its in the unreadable small print on the reverse.

I kinda agree with you Mike, but you strike me as a regular match-goer who knows the ropes; not everyone through the turn-style does, especially when one club is playing in its "cup final" and has brought thousands of supporters who wouldn't regularly attend games.

When a club willingly sells a "customer" a ticket without pointing out the potential aggravation, is the customer not entitled to believe he can watch the match in peace? I’m not for a moment suggesting Rob is a newcomer to the game, but if he was, do you think he’d come back?

Is there really a "wrong place" for an away fan when his club have sold their allocation, but the home sections have thousands of empty seats? If so, shouldn’t the home club acknowledge that they have made no progress since the eighties and make it very clear to these fans BEFORE they buy their tickets

Mike Allison
46   Posted 08/01/2010 at 07:43:19

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I don’t know how clear we make it that away fans shouldn’t be there, but we know, and I suspect Rob did, that that’s a home fans area. He certainly would have done about 12 mins into the game. His original post makes it pretty clear he knew he was buying an Everton seat, as the Carlisle ones were sold by Carlisle and he had to come direct to us.

All I’m saying is once you know you’re in with the opposition fans, you shouldn’t act exactly the same as you would in with the your own. Again, though, in Rob’s case, I’m not sure what actually happened to upset him. According to his account, one fan shouted to a steward, presumably quite angrily in the aftermath of a goal conceded to a team two divisions below. I just don’t see that as something to worry about.

I love cricket, and I love watching it live, but I wouldn’t expect a football crowd to sit back and clap politely at every piece of good play even by the opposition. That’s not what people go to football for.
Tom Martin
47   Posted 08/01/2010 at 17:14:43

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And what about the thousands of people around you who saw you jump up and never said anything?

I don’t see why you feel the need to write a whole article whinging about one person who gave you a bit of jip, when everyone else was apparantly so reasonable.

From what I can see, you’ve celebrated an away goal in the home end, the stewards have shown maturity and reasonableness by not kicking you out, most of the people around you have also been mature enough not to kick off, and the fans sitting next to you have shook your hand after the game. And yet, on the basis of there being one prat in the hundreds of fans sat in your section, you feel the need to post on here about the unpleasant "atmosphere" that football fans create?

Grow up!
Ian Campbell
48   Posted 08/01/2010 at 18:47:03

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Good post by Tom Martin there... Rob are you really complaining about one bloke in a crowd? Seems like you have come on here to promote the virtues of rugby league.

As an avid Everton fan, if I can sit on my hands when Everton get a 3-3 draw at Chelsea then you should be able to do that as a neutral at GP.

I don't particularly like segregation and I wouldn’t have given you any shit myself but you are naive not to expect any idiots in a crowd of 6,000 in that stand especially as a little jump, fist pump and cheer would be very noticeable.

How about you change your article and congratulate us of having only one idiot in 6,000....

.... Oh and stick your rugby up your arse. :)
Danny Burke
49   Posted 08/01/2010 at 20:11:05

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Sadly, as already covered, every club has its idiots. I'm not against opposition fans in the "wrong area" provided they act with a degree of respect for where they are. Maybe it shouldn’t be like that but it is.

I sat once in the Anfield Road red section, having not been to a derby before... and, while I had my shirt on, I also had my coat zipped up to my nose as it was bloody freezing. I behaved myself all game except when Radzinski scored a breakaway goal for 1-0 — I forgot where I was and jumped to my feet. Fortunatly 8 or so other blues in the seats around me did the same thing.

We suffered dog's abuse and had pies thrown at us (none of them hit, they obviously aimed with the precision of a Ryan Babel effort on goal). It did teach me a lesson though on remembering where you are.

I was sat in some Club Wembley seats, middle tier, for the cup final. We were in the Everton end but there were two guys behind us who had bought Club Wembley 10-year season tickets when Wembley opened. One of them happened to be a Chelsea fan and the other a neautral. A couple of scallies then arrived behind them and shared two seats between three (bunked in on another's ticket).

When they found out this guy was a Chelsea fan, they gave him some stick and ended up throwing pies and drinks at him. He wasn't even shouting or in his colours or drawing attention to himself. The Chelsea fan left before the end. A few people around asked the lads to knock it off but they got abuse as well so people decided it was not worth it.

I saw his mate after the game and asked him to apologise to the Chelsea lad as we are not all nobheads. I was embarrased fellow blues acted like that.

Ian Campbell
50   Posted 09/01/2010 at 09:07:45

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Danny those blokes were obviously thick as shit and no doubt absolute scumbags.

If you have 3 of you sharing 2 seats then why would you want to draw any attention to yourselves unless you’re an absolute idiot?

Everton does still have its fair share shitty fans, the racist element most noticable in London (when they interact with predominantly black stewards) does bother me.

I suppose every club has them though!

Peter Roberts
51   Posted 09/01/2010 at 10:53:05

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Rob, I understand your frustrations entirely. I’ve come back from 14 months over in Holland (Rotterdam to be precise) and during that time I had a season ticket for Sparta. I recall a game against the big city rivals Feijenoord (to give them their proper spelling) where there were Cockroaches (the Sparta nickname for fans of Feijenoord) in all parts of the ground, not least 2 seats along my row.

About 35 minutes in, Feijenoord score to the delirium of the away end and the sparse number of fans in the home end, which of course antagonises the home fans. It very nearly kicks off as the Cockroaches start to goad us Sparta fans (although not the guy sat near me, he was as gentlemanly as they come) and fortunately Sparta equalise to relieve the tension. Eventually Sparta win 2-1 with a goal coming right at the end of the game and there’s some natural mickey-taking.

The point is if you’re an away fan sat in the home end and your team score, there will be some natural irritation aimed at you. It happens in football - that’s what so tribal about it, from city rivalries down to games that don’t carry much significance such as the recent Cup game (with all respect to Carlisle, we don’t have a rivalry with you). So I think your point is rather moot if we’re honest.

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