22 June 2011

White Riot

It was a lovely night for a football match. Me and some of the lads from school had headed into London for a London Derby - our team visiting another, less acclaimed, team from the city - real bastards they were. Outside the grounds we had defended ourselves, successfully, against knife wielding supporters of the home side. It was all about teenage aggression in those days. Every motherfucker had a chip on their shoulder.

Inside the stadium over 10,000 of us were crammed behind one of the goals. So tightly packed that when the crowd began to move this way and that as we sang and clapped and carried on that only the biggest of us kept our feet on the ground. It was like flying. We were a single seething monster - the Blob, if you will. It was such fun, being out of control like that.

The home team scored first. My team evened the score in the second half. Such jubilation. You would have thought England had just beat the fucking Germans again.

On our way out of the grounds we stampeded at full run through the cool darkened streets towards our designated train station. Opposing groups of supporters were wisely kept as far apart as possible. It would have been a fucking war. Still singing, still clapping, but freed from close proximity to one another, we smashed up some cars and windows, just another football crowd. It would have been much worse if our team had lost.

It was the most exhilarating experience of my life. A running riot. You would not believe how much fun it is to run amok more or less spontaneously like that. Big crowds sometimes take on characteristics that some people find offensive but once the fun gets started no one wants to miss out on the action. So cut the rioting Canuck fans some fucking slack. You are only young once and like I have written here many times in the past - you gotta get it in before you get old.

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