Hillsborough, Ibrox disasters and common decency

The furore over the lastest Manchester United fans chants seems to be dominating the media over the last two days. The description of these chants have been called disgusting, disrespectful, banal and mindless chants from ageing supporters etc etc.
For sure their behaviour was entirely wrong and one must question why the ‘decent’ fans didnt do something to stop this. Today a radio pundit, Dione Dublin no less, said that they were probably intimidated and frightened to make their views known. These are season ticket holding fans, so why could they not be identified? Weakness on the part of those decent fans for sure but definitely not fear. Of course there is a great rivalry between these clubs and at times it has been very bitter indeed. Much has been made also of the Liverpool fans Munich air disaster chants and this is that according to Man U fans is what really continues to perpetuate the bitter atmosphere between them.
So what, you may say? It is what happens all over the football globe at local derbys…get on with it. That is precisely the problem they are not getting on with it. Quite frankly it was pathetic for The Manchester United Supporters Trust to come out and say: “…We did hear the usual anti-Liverpool chants at the match but we are pleased to say..there was nothing that was specifically referencing Hillsborough.” Right, that will be that then.
Lets now contrast these event with those of fans in Glasgow at the matches previously known as ‘Old Firm Derbys’ .
I was at the Ibrox Disaster and recall the commotion as we left the ground seeing ambulances speeding by towards the Rangers end. Someone said that some Rangers fans had been hurt in a crush. Then a couple of hundred yards on we were told five fans had died. It was like we had been hit by a truck. Even at that stage in our young lives the thought that someone had died at a match was hard to comprehend. In those days after a match at Ibrox we would take shelter at our friend’s aunt’s house until the crowds and the Celtic fan ‘hunters’ had dispersed. I recall vividly the sickening feeling in our stomachs as the extent of the disaster unfolded on television. Without a shadow of a doubt Glasgow was a city united in grief that day and the days after. To this day I have not heard one chant from the Celtic fans disrespecting those who lost their lives at Ibrox. The point of telling this is simple, ‘Old Firm’ matches are reknowned the world over for their bitterness, their unbridled hatred, their completely inappropriate chants and the explosion of domestic and street violence after the matches.
However in my lifetime football violence has all but disappeared from these matches. Of course what has not disappeared is is the bigotry and the bile ocassionally directed towards us.
If we go even further back to 12 September 1931 to an Old firm match at Ibrox, 80,000 fans packed in with both parties having something at heart. Celtic trying to stop Rangers winning and possibly equalling our record ‘six in a row’ championships and clearly Rangers doing the opposite. That was the day that John Thomson died. We all know the circumstances but do we know the grief that was displyed across the country that night when it was announced that John Thomson had died in the Victoria Infirmary? Football rivalry meant nothing. Bob McPhail of Rangers burst into tears on the pavement. Cinemas emptied when the films were stopped and quickly scrawled messages appeared on the screens. The nation was consumed with grief for the loss of this young man’s life. Another expample of how our two great clubs have shown immense respect for eachother was Tommy Burns death and funeral.
I believe that we two enemies, infamous throughout the world for our violent behaviour, pilloried for our bigotted stance DO have something that is the essence of life…common decency.
Those two super brands known as Liverpool and Manchester United, revered and followed across the globe, lack that and cannot hold a candle to us.
Even the ‘we arra people” have got decent good and loyal fans who abhor some of the behaviour shown. We know our DNA as Celtic fans. We know our background and our values and we know we would never stoop to the base levels that was shown last saturday afternoon.
I am proud of our heritage and our high ethical standards. We may never walk alone but we will always chose our path.
Let no one point a finger at us in the future.

12 thoughts on “Hillsborough, Ibrox disasters and common decency

  1. Hi,agree with your article.Time for sick chants to stop.Sorry to be pedantic but John Thomson was fatally injured on the 5th Sept,it is contained in the first few lines of the wonderful Johnny Thomson song.

  2. Hi,agree with your article.Time for sick chants to stop.Sorry to be pedantic but John Thomson was fatally injured on the 5th Sept,it is contained in the first few lines of the wonderful Johnny Thomson song.

  3. You are perfectly correct Patbhoy…my apologies…I was always crap at dates…no excuse I should check my sources.

  4. You are perfectly correct Patbhoy…my apologies…I was always crap at dates…no excuse I should check my sources.

  5. How many fans of Liverpool or Manu have murdered the other for wearing a scarf? Pile o pish mate,

  6. How many fans of Liverpool or Manu have murdered the other for wearing a scarf? Pile o pish mate,

  7. what about the Tommy Burns and paedo songs we constantly hear.
    are they not in the same sick ilk??

  8. what about the Tommy Burns and paedo songs we constantly hear.
    are they not in the same sick ilk??

  9. Wasn’t Johnny Thompson pelted with coins as he lay on the ground dying? I think you will find he was.

  10. Wasn’t Johnny Thompson pelted with coins as he lay on the ground dying? I think you will find he was.

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