Exiled Valiant Barry Edge lives in Perth, Western Australia and is a regular columnist for onevalefan and this is his poem about the not so nice side of football.
The Ugly Side of Football
This is a story that must be told
Of a terrace menace that leaves me cold
When I read of behaviour resulting in shame
And bringing discredit to our beautiful game.
It’s not just the Forum of onevalefan
Where many postings reveal the sham
Of a shallow minority pretending to be
True blue supporters like you and me.
With verbal abuse and gestures so rude,
Matched only by arrogance quite vulgar and crude,
They taunt and harass in a determined way
With every intention of spoiling our day.
Are they spotty faced children, or bad boy supporters?
Perhaps yobs in a mob from political quarters
Whose ignorance and bigotry leaves no doubt
Their egotistical behaviour equals that of a lout.
What about the Stoke fan, his little boy and dad
Who went down to Reading, now angry and sad
That a tirade of abuses as chilling as can be
Continued unabated from a fellow devotee.
When asked to tone down the language so foul
It served to increase, with a deepening growl,
The hateful retorts and invective rebuff
To the point where enough was certainly enough.
But where were the Stewards and the police?
Those guardians of order and also of peace,
Were they just decorations to appease the FA
And absent in action whilst watching the play?
What of the supporters and loyal travelling fans,
Why didn’t they come forward to lend a hand?
Instead, they protested the cause of the nutter
Whose verbal behaviour belonged in the gutter.
Now the nightmare didn’t end inside of the ground
On that cold winter’s night in good Reading Town,
Stalked and assailed in a car park outside
The terror increased as a little boy cried.
It beggars belief, but what would you do
If your main concern was your family and you?
Say you offered support, would you be assaulted?
Or would you stand with others whilst a melee resulted.
This is not about Stoke or my beloved Port Vale,
But of the caring majority that I tell this tale
Of how a united voice a difference could make
Towards making all stadia a place to be safe.
February 28, 2002