Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 21 August 2014

Rose-coloured view of footie fans' behaviour

I attended, as a neutral, the recent CIS Cup Final between Cliftonville and Glentoran at Belfast's Windsor Park.

Having witnessed the openly sectarian behaviour displayed by some Cliftonville fans during the match, I am not surprised 300 morons (as described by ex-Cliftonville chairman Jim Boyce) decided to go on a wrecking spree on the Boucher Road after their team lost. Spot on there, Jim.

Which makes it all the bigger shame that he followed that statement by saying: "Inside the ground, the atmosphere was tremendous and both sets of supporters behaved immaculately."

If this is what he believes, he must be either deaf, blind or incapable of hearing anything said against his beloved Cliftonville.

Lawrie Sanchez was continually verbally abused. Cliftonville stewards were moved into the area where Lawrie and Howard Wells were seated, to deter any physical attacks. Lawrie changed seats at half time.

"We're gonna wreck the Village", after the goal was scored, and " Linfield, Orange ****** ", was a continual chant against a team that weren't even playing.

Once again, the displaying of tricolours, constant kicking of hoardings, and at least two bottles thrown towards stewards at the lower end of the south stand at the conclusion of the match, would indicate that either Jim has a different view of tremendous behaviour than the vast majority of people who attend football matches may have, or he may still be looking at the world through his Cliftonville red-tinted glasses.

If this "tremendous behaviour" is indicative of what is accepted as normal at Solitude, no wonder the once great Red and White Army are less than a platoon nowadays.

A F Johns Belfast

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