Belfast Telegraph

Monday 22 December 2014

Alan Green: Pre-match anthems strike sour note

Unless creeping old age is attacking my memory bank I’m sure only one anthem preceded Northern Ireland’s last game against England in Belfast: the National Anthem, which was impeccably observed.

The Scottish and Welsh view such, thankfully intermittent, clashes differently. At Hampden ‘God Save The Queen’ goes first, then ‘Flower of Scotland’. On Saturday, at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, the Welsh started with the National Anthem and followed it with ‘Land of my Fathers’.

The trouble was ‘too many’ Welsh booed ‘God Save The Queen’ — actually ‘any’ would have been too many — so it was inevitable that the England fans (pictured), who make a sick habit of booing EVERY anthem of an opposing nation, were given a free rein to boo as loudly themselves when the Welsh ditty came up.

It’s pathetic that a majority think watching football gives them an excuse to disrespect the feelings of others. If I had my way I wouldn’t allow any anthems to be played but, then, that would be giving in, wouldn’t it? And unfortunately there’s little hope these morons will ever grow up.

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