Flares back in fashion

5 Nov

BRITISH football fandom used to lead the way back in the 60s, 70s and 80s. It was not malways for the best, but European fan groups always used to look on admirably and try and imitate English fans. Now, it is the other way round, and one of the irritating side effects of this is the recent fashion for “pyro”, or people using flares and smoke bombs at grounds.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I dislike the heavily sanitised atmosphere of the modern football arena as much as the next man. I even got told off recently for calling Fleetwood’s goalkeeper “shit”, which quite frankly is ridiculous as, not only was it factually correct, I was in the South Upper, not the family stand and quite frankly it should be our duty to make away team’s players feel as uncomfortable as possible when we are blessed enough to be so close to the action.
However, I draw the line at this fashion for throwing smoke bombs onto the pitch and ensuring you can’t see the next ten minutes of the match. What exactly are people gaining from it? I’ve seen it happen twice at Roots Hall this season, Yeovil fans and Dagenham fans the culprits, and I rank both occasions as being amongst the most tin-pot things I have ever seen at a football match. I can see how it looks good when seething massed ranks of fans set off flares while deafening everyone around with vociferous singing, but when it’s seven people with replica shirts over their jumpers letting them off between gaping gaps in the stand, it is a tragic sight. It’s the football equivalent of Robin Thicke trying to defy the fact he looks like a geography teacher and look cool in a video full of extremely attractive women. It doesn’t belong there. Simple as that.
Aside from the lack of credibility, and without wanting to come across all health and safety executive here, it’s not a particularly good idea to let off these things off around large groups of people. Spurs fans lobbed one at a linesman the other week and although secretly I imagine most people found it quite funny when it smacked him on the back of the neck, they wouldn’t be laughing if they were deducted points for it. I know the FA doesn’t have the balls to do that to a big club, but lower down the leagues they wouldn’t think twice about it.
So please, if any Southend supporters are thinking about trying the same thing at a far-flung ground this season, please don’t. It makes all of us look like twats, and having paid far too much money to travel to the game, gain admittance, and drink enough booze to make watching League Two football seem palatable, most of us would actually quite like to be able to see the game we’ve paid to watch rather than peer through a haze.
Jamie Forsyth

This article appears in Issue 45 of All At Sea. To buy your copy online, head to our webstore at http://allatseafanzine.angelfire.com where you can pay your £1 + postage easily with Paypal. We send all fanzines out first class.


One Response to “Flares back in fashion”

  1. john November 5, 2013 at 3:27 pm #

    Surely there is a line between making opposition feel uncomfortable and abusing an individual?

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