Football fans: Who you see at the game

Football fans by Tom NashThose of us who attend football matches have occasionally attended games so boring that entertainment is derived from watching others in the crowd. After a few of these games you start to notice certain types that appear at grounds all over the country (and indeed, the world). And I don’t mean those fans who shout tactics, appeal for ‘hand-ball’ and warn of a ‘man-on’. We all do that.

The jaded veteran
I guess the closest the ‘big’ clubs get to this is the long time fan who can remember ‘when all this was a terrace and it was a farthing for a programme.’ For the rest of us, it’s those fellas who, no matter what, are there watching the week in-week out drudgery that is lower level Association Football.

They buy every match day programme, every fanzine, they queue to buy over-priced pies and grot-burgers (which they devour without being forced) and they stay till the final whistle to clap their team off the pitch. Of course they do all this with a look of resignation and utter disappointment etched on their faces, after all, their team is rubbish.

The wannabe hooligan
Usually these fellas are just old enough to attend games unchaperoned but it takes all sorts- a few pints of wife-beater can even turn a veteran into a wannabe.
Upon arrival at a stadium, the wannabe will locate the source of all chants in that stand. They will then attempt to get as close as possible to it. Failing that, they will attempt to get as close to the opposition supporters as they can in order to make rude gestures in that general direction.
They will also, at games against local rivals and against opposition with a known element of twats (the scientific term for one who partakes in football related violence) attempt to start fights after the match- provided there is a barrier of policemen and stewards between them to keep everyone safe from actual punches, of course.
The lunatic
He could be drunk. People like a drink before a match don’t they? People also act a bit silly when they’re drunk, right? He’s drunk, surely? He’s not drunk though is he?
This person attempts to start chants. They fail. Partly because no one has a clue what it is they’re saying, partly because they’re sitting in the family stand. They scream abuse at the players like they’ve just caught them in bed with their mother and seem to take every questionable decision by the referee as a personal attack on their character.
Oh- and they’re usually sat directly behind me…

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