Show Some Respect!

David JacobsCorrespondent IFebruary 25, 2008


Manchester United hate Manchester City; Tottenham hate Arsenal; Arsenal hate Manchester United; Bolton Wanderers hate Blackburn Rovers and so on. However, when do these teams' fans arrive at a stage where it's time to say "that's a bit too far to go"?

1) 1958 Munich Air Crash. The Busby Babes of Manchester United (so called because of the team being fresh young players under the coaching and management of Matthew Busby) were victims of a disaster during their planned trip to Munich from their European Cup quarter-final against Red-Star Belgrade.

2) Arsenal v Birmingham (23rd February 2008). A horrific tackle (even if unintentional) from Birmingham City’s Taylor nearly separated Eduardo Da Silva’s foot from his leg. It has put his career on hold indefinitely until the end of the season, but it could end his career for good. No channel had the stomach to replay it because of how gory it was.

My point?

Well, some immature fans of various clubs have been singing chants referring to both the Munich Air Disaster and Eduardo’s injury.

A Spurs fan has also been relishing the Arsenal player’s injury by commenting on a Youtube picture video numerous times, responding to other people’s disgust at the injury and his comments (even I am disgusted with this person).

I think it’s horrible how some people think they can get away with mocking and jeering at such terrible misfortune. It’s not just the players themselves that are hurt, but also their peers, fans and the players who take after them.

I’m sure they wouldn’t like it if it was their squad wiped out in a plane crash or one of their most promising players being a victim of a severed leg.

Even the Birmingham City fans had the maturity and respect to stand up and clap as Eduardo was taken off the pitch in a stretcher.

And even if Manchester City lost their former goalkeeper Frank Swift in the crash, they paid tribute to all Manchester United players at the Manchester Derby too.

Of course, have the banter between arch rivals; gloat over a win; chant how much you hate them. It’s all for fun and in the spirit of the game.

But that shouldn’t be exploited by a lack of respect and compassion for such tragic events as the ones I have mentioned.

Next time any radical fan reading this wants to sing ‘Always Check on the Runway for Ice’, Just think of Bobby Charlton, who survived the crash.