Football fans. Who we are?

These years there has been a lot of talk about communities and belonging. Mostly from overseas. Especially since the election of Donald Trump as a president of the United States. There is very little middle ground now. You are either with them, or with us.  

However here in UK, football fans have been living in this mentality for decades. For us, football matches are battles in the old days. When you become one of us, you become a brother in arms. But it’s not like we are always looking for a fight like movies and media portray us.  

 

I won’t claim Green Street Hooligans is an exact representation of UK football fans but the movie did get a few things correctly. If you haven’t seen the movie, it is about a small group of east London football club, West Ham United, fans called GSE, Green Street Elite. However, West Ham United fans represented in this movie were extremely disapproving of everyone else, especially journalists. Fair enough, we don’t like lies. But that’s something no one likes. Overall, football fans are pretty inclusive because we come from many areas ourselves. 

First of all, in addition to football supporter, we are gamers. 15 or 45, we are fans of FIFA, Football Manager and other games that let us extend our love for football beyond the limits of the stadium. Our passion for adrenaline and games inevitably brings us to casinos, betting shops and slot machines that are scattered across the UK.  

Of course, most of us will wager on matches just to add a little more excitement but we also play classic games like blackjack and roulette games live and online.  

But we are also members of your local communities. And this is important because we come out with passion and desire, something that today’s electorate seems to lack very much.  

Perhaps, the best example of passion of the football fans is the story of Brighton and Hove Albion football club. The club that this year is one of the 20 teams in the Barclay’s Premier League, a few years back lost it all. All due to the debt of previous owners who sold out everything the football club had. 


And yet, instead of giving up, a group of lifelong fans took the ownership into their own hands and started a fight for their beloved football club.  

It was not an easy fight. That’s for sure. It took long campaigns, lots of protests outside the city council but little by little, they helped the football club recover. At first, they got to share the stadium for three years but this year, being promoted to the highest football league in UK, Brighton and Hove Albion fans meet in a new stadium.  

Say what you will, but the same kind of the passion we need from people coming to the ballots during the election years. But I digress.  

In any case, my goal was to remove the aggressive football fan stereotype and hopefully show us in a different light.