Whilst researching for another article I made a point of watching both Match of the day and The Football League Show and just as I was making notes I happened to spot 20 Sheiks in the crowd. In the modern game you would maybe expect that, but at London Road, home of Peterborough United?? Are The Posh about to get investment of the Saudi oil dollar? Further investigation of the crowd revealed Bananaman in attendance with his friend the Hulk. In other games Crawley Towns game had hundreds of Hartlepool based penguins in the away end, Beleaguered Pompey fans counted the ingredients of a stew in their crowd up at Shrewsbury and let us not forget to tip our hat to what seemed to be a Baywatch reunion at Blackpool! If it was on the Golden Mile or in some of the local pubs you could maybe understand there but in the stands at Bloomfield Road?
Up until about ten years ago attending the game in fancy dress would have possibly earned you some stick, ridicule and a pie to the face, oh that reminds me, check out the 15 or so phantom flan flingers who were also at that Peterborough game…. But I digress! It seemed to happen very suddenly where fans of clubs who seemed to be either safe or had their fates sealed would add an element of fun into their last home or away game of the season by going in character. I recall myself at Stranraer FC where I was involved at the time, fans were keen to celebrate promotion with a beach party, I was naturally intrigued and at the game the clubs iconic “Venga Loyal” came in Hawaiian shirts and Bermuda shorts and over the course of the game armbands, life rings, buckets and spades, and inflatable dinghy and a blow up doll all either ended up on the Stair Park Pitch or used as props in goal celebrations by players. At the time it was quite fun and a novelty but you could maybe understand it at the time.
Since then it has become more and more part of the game for more younger parts of a clubs clientele to do it. I’m not sure about it myself, it’s certainly nothing I would get involved in personally and it reminds me of watching darts on TV where the crowd are more concerned about being seen by TV cameras rather than watching the sport. I appreciate that fans are paying anywhere from £35 to £80 for their seat and that they can dress how they like but maybe I’m just school and the game is changing into more of a spectacle on and off the park but all I would ask TV cameramen to do is please keep your eye on the game.
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