My 10p's worth on Darlo
By iwantcurlyhair2
Saturday 16 Jul 2011 08:23:00
Browse all @iwantcurlyhair2 articles

The tribalism of football is well documented, in fact it may be the origin of sport itself when young men of competing villages tried to kick, punch and bash a pig skin into the rival town square. The evolution of football into global soccer has increased at such a pace that we often forget the basics that make it the greatest game on the planet.

Tribes have identity giving them a bond that unifies. The history of the tribe breeds stronger unification based on both success and hardship. This is why we feel part of a group by association - we are one. We are United.

One of my favourite movies as a child was the Michael Caine intro Zulu. I have seen the movie many times and was lucky enough to visit the battle site there after the World Cup last year. During the tour of the site, the guide explained the story of how the troops used songs to extend the bond of soldiership. I couldn't help but feel like parts of that fall back into football.

You could argue all day about the most creative and passionate of fans in the world but I'd need a encyclopaedia rather than a web page to detail it all. But what I can say is that I am always impressed by the imagination within the Toon Army. It's amazing at what speed and diversity songs are created. Clearly, travelling together on buses, meeting in pubs beforehand a d having a few beers adds sparks to firewood. 

Tonight saw the singing of a much used chant "we're on the pitch if..." . This is normally combined with a rare event or a piss-take of our own players but tonight the adaptability was rolled together with Sammy Ameobi. 
In all my days in the Newcastle end, the notion that the events we chanted about would occur seemed so unlikely that the secondary action never really became a probability worth noting. Strangely enough for the first time in my knowledge the requested action actually came true....

And so, in the heat of the moment, a group of mags made their merry way on to the pitch. Many people will have different opinions on this motley crew, but in my mind they are delivering on their words sung some moments ago. 

I have no justification or defence for a person entering the field of play to cause disruption or instigate violence. But with smiles and celebrations over in a matter of seconds the majority of the group returned to the stands.

I am unsure how another set of fans would have reacted to this incursion into the field of play but it's clear that some Darlo fans took offence and looked to get involved in the actions on their "territory".

What could have been done to stop what happened? Clearly the Chav kids could have been at home with Mam? The Drunks could have stayed in the pub? Or maybe Darlo could have considered the number of tickets sold and reassessed the number of stewards on duty? I'm not making excuses as those guys did their best but really,  8 for that stand seems a little short? The reports, photos and press coverage will undoubtedly paint every Newcastle fan as hooligan who smashed, kicked and cut their way through the whole of Darlington better than the Vikings ever did. Before you feel "ashamed" to be a Newcastle fan, I'd ask you to look at the evidence. I ask we stand together with the spirit of United and say violence is not acceptable. I personally have been on the pitch, in celebration rather than for violence and clearly for me aggression is not acceptable in the Toon Army. The majority of the 400 or so were off as fast as they were on but it's clear in modern football, whether you're 16 or 61, "if you're on the pitch, you're in the dock!". 

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