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17 May 2008



I live about 500 yards from Piccadilly Gardens and the first I knew about the riot was when I saw the news the morning after. There were a lot of Rangers fans at the pub at the end of our street, but they melted away around kick off time, and we had a comparatively noisy, but not atypical night. Yes, the police helicopter was out, but if you think that is unusual then you don't know Manchester city centre.

A lot of the guys and lasses were drunk, but that was to be expected really. I have to say that I was very annoyed with the letters in today's Guardian (one from a work colleague). I didn't hear any racist chating, and I walked through Piccadilly in the afternoon when it was heaving. I sometimes think reading the Guardian letters page and listening to things like the News Quiz on Radio 4 that the "radical" British middle classes have simply learned lots of politically correct ways to disguise their dislike of the masses as some form of radical critique of society.


That's racist chanting, not chating. Didn't hear any racist chating either, though. It wasn't the dawn of the revolution or anything like that. Just a load of Rangers fans enjoying their day in the sun. A lot of posters were going on about "why couldn't they stay in Glasgow and enjoy it", but conversations suggested that quite a few were expats living in London. And Manchester is a bit nearer than Glasgow. I say fair play to the folk who run local pubs near where I live who had a cracking pay day. I don't think they come very often.


No one likes the masses or even the 200 or so in this instance when they're pissed and chucking bottles.

Scotland is normally proud that their fans are better behaved than the English fans. Pissing (literally) over other people's turf is crap, nothing to do with the masses.

There are no friendlier people in Britain than the Glaswegians as a rule. Some of them behaved badly in this instance and made their fellow citizens ashamed of them.


Scottish fans better behaved than the English? Its a view, but its through rose-tinted glasses. I recall the last time Rangers were in Manchester in the early 70's. I also recall the siege of Burnley in the late 70s when Celtic played an Anglo-Scottish Cup tie at Burnley. I was on my way up to the Lakes for a holiday, and there were coach loads well into Lancashire by 8.30am for a 7.30pm kick off. I suspect you may get a different view of Scottish fans from those present in Burnley that day. Which isn't to say English soccer fans are better. But the bulk are OK. My sister and her daughter (aged 14) were at Athletico Madrid this year for the Bolton game. Some of the newspaper reports (eg The Observer) implied that the events there were caused by Bolton fans. Talk to my sister about that and she'd put you right in no uncertain terms.

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  • Rosie Bell

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