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My town is full of gippos

  Mon 27th November 2023

Wrexham 6 Morecambe 0; Bristol City Women 0 Manchester Utd Women 2.

Along with twelve hundred other Morecambe supporters I made my way to northeast Wales for their match against the nouveau riche club of Wrexham. You might know that the club recently won the Hollywood lottery by having two "famous actors" pour millions into their coffers, thus creating some ill-feeling amongst the fans of the other clubs in the same league, as they buy their way up it. Everyone wants them to fail to gain the promotion that looks likely.

I have no male friends, and two-thirds of my daughters fancy girls, so I enjoy the male camaraderie of my awaydays at the football and being off the leash. I'm afraid to say that occasionally, I enjoy making middle class travellers feel uncomfortable without doing anything identifiably offensive. I enjoy the class tribalism of football, joined in the ummah of heavy-drinking, train-riding pilgrims. But simply drinking can unnerve some people.

Wrexham certainly don't spend their money on making away fans feel well looked after. In the Wrexham Lager Stand, the away end, there was no beer; there was no hot food, and they banned us from taking our drums, whilst allowing the home fans to use theirs. But the people in the pub next to the ground were welcoming, ("no, not all, we're pleased to see you"), taking pains to point out to me that they'd been coming to Wrexham for many years, back when they'd be luck to get gates of two hundred.

We were completely outclassed, losing six-nil. Our new manager marked his first day in charge by getting sent off. Their chants were better than ours too: "Tyson Fury is a sex offender" and "your town's full of gippos".


The following day, I went with middle daughter and her girlfriend to Bristol City to see the women take on Man Utd. I could have done without it really, being full of beer, but I was curious to see a women's game, and of course my daughter, who lives up there now.

I bumped into a couple at Temple Meads, obviously United fans, and we shared a taxi there. I'd told them that I was wearing my Morecambe scarf in order to signal that I did not wish to be associated with either of the teams playing. "Where are you sitting?" he asked. "I've got a horrible feeling it'll be with you," which I was relieved to find provoked laughter rather than a long walk.

Ashton Gate is a quality stadium with a high rake so you see a lot more of the action. My daughter reported that a "fancy burger" was 12 quid, and the cider was 5.75. I spotted my first ever Muslim family at the football. Whereas I got a bit pissed off with this bloke my age who was fucking about on Instagram and farcebook. Even when Utd scored their second he barely glanced up, before going back to his phone. Meanwhile, his two boys started playing around by throwing jelly sweets into their mouths. It was an expensive way of catching up with what people are having for dinner.

There were a great many football novices there, looking all surprised and a wee bit supercilious when people started chanting -- even in the carefully self-censoring fashion that I gather is typical of women's matches. Yet it was the only thing that disturbed Instagram man's concentration.


The housing association gave me a voucher for £700 to replace the flood-damaged carpets in my flat. I was surprised to be told by the carpet fitter that to carpet my small studio flat, from the "Value" range, would cost double that.

6 comments

Comment from: kono [Visitor]

Ah you make me miss the real football my friend… i’ve been lucky enough to go to Selhurst twice back when my beloved Palace were in the Championshop (1st Division back then) and once hit the old Wembley for England v. Bulgaria friendly after the 98 World Cup… had some adventures here when the European Clubs come for the summer cash grab but it’s not nearly the same… we have a local club in USL 1 aka America’s Championship division but we have a shite supporters group who sing the most rubbish songs… years ago when this club played at a local high school i used a song from the old Bill Murray movie Meatballs and came up with some blinding lyrics that we used to sing, much better than the recycle shite they chant now… and full disclosure the Imac used to play for the academy and had a horrible experience so i guess my view is a bit biased… at least the tickets are relatively cheap!

Which brings me to how insane prices are for sporting events, here in the States you practically have to sell a kidney to afford a game, it’s ridiculous and once they have you inside the $$ for food/drink is frightening… $10 plus for a beer, the same for food… it’s easier to go down the pub and watch or better yet from my couch, lol! where i can get as high as i want!

Nice to see you out and about at the footie though, i was in an Indian joint a few weeks back and they had the cricket on and you came to mind, believe it was a big event, World Cup like? i’m still trying to figure the game out put i do enjoy watching it.

Mon 11th December 2023 @ 13:32 Reply to this comment
Comment from: looby [Visitor]

Hiya kono – well done for getting a better chant going! I’ve never known anyone who has invented anything like that.

Morecambe games are around 20/25 quid to get in, then beer is usually around a fiver. But that’s because they’re in the old division four.

And the cricket – it was probably the World Cup, yes, in the one-day version of the game. You’ll get the hang of it time you’re seventy :)

Wed 13th December 2023 @ 16:04 Reply to this comment
Comment from: kono [Visitor]

If you can find or have seen the old movie Meatballs there is a song at the end that the camp counselors sing, the lyrics were something like

We are the CITs so pity us/ the kids are brats the food is hideous/ we’re going to smoke and drink and fool around/ we are the North Star CITs…

My version for the club back when almost no one went to the games in 1999-2001 and they played at a local high school was this..

We are the Riverhounds so pity us/ our field is crap our D is hideous/ we’re going to smoke and drink and fool around/ we are the Pittsburgh Riverhounds… second time through we changed it field to fans, lol!!! the we were the supporters section back then, basically 6-8 of us, a guy we knew dated a woman who worked in their offices and told us they actually had meetings about us, they didn’t know what to do because they wanted us their but didn’t, lol!! fucking americans man ;)

Thu 14th December 2023 @ 13:38 Reply to this comment
Comment from: kono [Visitor]

whoops, the second line is - our D’s the shittiest, lol! it was the only time we actually used any foul language by suburban mom standards, the young kids at the games would gravitate towards us and we’d teach them the songs, obviously we were hooligans, lol! maybe i should do a proper post on it..

Thu 14th December 2023 @ 13:40 Reply to this comment
Comment from: kono [Visitor]

Happy Chrimbo and Merry New Year my friend… hope all is well, with all the typos in my comments up above i’m wondering how high i was when i wrote them, their? i mean there lol! think i’ll have another dab ;)

Wed 27th December 2023 @ 14:00 Reply to this comment
Comment from: looby [Visitor]

And to you kono! I’ve been away in Lancaster (family), Notts County (lost 5-0) and Swansea (lost 2-0) so apologies dor the late reply.

Those chants are great! And you must have really stood out there being only a few of you. I’d certainly be gravitating towards you hooligans. And you’re doing something right if there’s meetings about you.

A very happy new year to you, and all the best for ‘24.

Thu 11th January 2024 @ 17:46 Reply to this comment


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