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No Surrender To The EDL

January 16, 2013

Editorial

Around twenty years ago when I first started attending games at my home club I chose the London Road terrace as my place to stand and observe the match that was taking place before me. The terrace was usually scarcely occupied and those who were in attendance around me were mostly wizened old men or women who would occasionally grumble their discontent at the linesmen or opposition players passing within earshot but rarely with any real form of venom – more the sort of disgruntlement a person may have for a late bus or a canceled episode of Eastenders. Harmless really.

I found a particular spot on that terrace and, regardless of results or performances, decided it was ‘lucky’. I would arrive at the game an hour before kick-off, purchase my programme, and home in on that area that, in my head, belonged to me. The area that – as long as I was within the general vicinity – would help spur our courageous Silkmen through to victory.

Fast Forward Fifteen Years.

The “Macclesfield division” of the EDL used to have a blog that was as garishly unappetising as it was contradictory and incomprehensible. I say “used to” because the last new content on there was posted on the first of December 2010 – presumably because the struggle those behind it were having with the English language wasn’t worth the effort (sample quotes – “we couldn’t care weather they are black,white,asian”, “no wonder their are thousands of angry men and women”, “a decision we was later to regret but was not to know at the time.”) The irony that a group of people who love being English so much can’t be bothered to learn the Basic Rules of the language is particularly delicious.

Elsewhere they complained that the police “are not happy that the EDL have a following from Macc and for some reason think Macc has a hooligan problem” shortly after casually mentioning that “one of the lads had been in court after fighting broke out between Macc and Stockport lads”. Meanwhile their unyielding support for the side (“Macc & Proud”) was portrayed with unflinching honesty (“We lost the game 6-0 but left at half time as it was a joke of a match and quite simply Macc were f****** awful.”) You could almost find it funny in a sort of darkly humorous way if they weren’t 100% serious about it.

These people are racists. They claim not to be. They put disclaimers everywhere. They may have bought a Roni Size album once or walked past a black guy without spitting in his face and whoop-de-doo. They mask their hatred for anything non-white behind a thin veneer of attempted respectability that disappears the second you take a closer look.

I have personally heard them hilariously refer to then Bolton player David Ngog as “David Nig-Nog” and chant “We are Senegal” when a black player was brought on as a substitute for Macc during a pre-season friendly. This is not just gentle football ribbing. This is phlegm-specked bile thinly disguised as ‘banter’. It is clear that the threat of a lifetime ban from the club is the only thing stopping them from out and out monkey noises and throwing bananas onto the pitch.

In truth it must be a constant source of internal conflict for them; that in recent years the number of non-white players representing Macclesfield Town has gradually increased (and to the benefit of the team) against their wishes. This is made perfectly clear by their ‘chant’ for club captain Nat Brown – “Big head, big nob” – which, in a desperate attempt to scramble for praise for the oft excellent defender, resorts to a crude stereotype about black people.

The recent Cardiff F.A. cup tie was the tipping point for me. These people are not in support of the club. The majority of their chants were either vile/provocative abuse aimed towards the opposition fans and players, or pathetic attempts to promote their extreme right-wing agenda. Steve King, the Macclesfield boss, was dismissed as a “cockney w****r” prior to the win and praise or encouragement for the home players was rarely heard before the result was secured (at which point they celebrated as if they were vital components to the victory). The English flag, as often is the case with the extreme right, was used as a provocative gesture rather than a source of pride. They taunted the Cardiff ‘Soul Crew’. The intentions were clear from the start.

A fight broke out behind me at one point during the second half – the rhyme or reason of which I do not know. The police and stewards stood by and watched. Some stewards shared jokes with them. Smiled at their extreme language and braggadocio. What hope do we have? Seriously? Even those ‘on our side’ are on their side.

I’m not going to stop watching Macclesfield Town play. When my son is old enough to attend with me I will drift over into the family stand on the opposite side of the ground. Until then I will remain on the London Road terrace, will continue to support the club I love. Support them in the right way. The only way.

No surrender to the EDL.

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One Comment on “No Surrender To The EDL”

  1. Stevie Marsh Says:

    Good blog mate. It’s good to read views of normal football-loving fans who don’t want to get caught up in hate and mindless violence. EDL peddle lies, misinformation and prey on people’s fears. Very sad to see them trying to get a foothold at football stadiums, but it’s understandable as they will find a ready market for their ignorant nonsense.

    I’m a northerner but live in London now and there will always be the odd idiot, but to be honest, if someone stood up and shouted a racist abuse here, they would often be surrounded by black fans as the support here is very cosmopolitan. So unsurprisingly it’s rare as most racists don’t have a death wish… Perhaps people are just better at hiding it, who knows. I know it’s different in the north though as I’ve lived near Macclesfield, and grew up in Liverpool, Newcastle and Birmingham. And whilst all have ethnic populations, not in the same % as inner Londoners, the majority of whom are not English-born these days.

    I started going to the footie in the 80s. Back in those days I had to put up with chants like “trigger, trigger, trigger, shoot that N*gger” at most away games, especially in the midlands, but not exclusively.. Back then I was a young black teenager, often at the game on my own, sometimes with a mate, but often the only black fan there. When the majority of a stand sings something like “trigger, trigger, trigger”, it’s not the nicest place to be. To start with I was incandescent with rage, but I couldn’t show it or it would end in violence, which wasn’t why i went to matches. But I love my football and no inbreds were going to stop me supporting my team home and away, so after a while I just filtered it out and ignored it, although it always made me angry inside. I just viewed it as the price of going to the football, whether or not it should be happening wasn’t something I could affect.

    But funnily enough, NO ONE ever actually touched me physically, it’s one thing singing racist songs, hidden in a mob, it’s another having the balls to try it on with a 14 stone 6 foot black lad, especially knowing that I would knock their blocks off. I got begrudging respect as often they couldn’t believe i had the nerve to be there in that atmosphere. But I would still have to listen to someone shout a racist insult or comment, then see me and say, ‘sorry I don’t mean you mate, you’re one of us’. which of course I never was, nor did I want to be…. So it’s a shame to hear that it seems that mentality has never gone away, or is coming back….

    Reply

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