Writer: J P Fear
Date:Wednesday December 29 2010
This is a public Lions warning!!!
Please, when attending games or travelling to and from games, don`t sing.
If you do, you are in line for an £80 fine or like one of my (none trouble making, good honest family man) friends, appear in court this morning.
We made our way back from The Stadium of Lost Maine Road Souls or whatever Man City call their stadium now, I asked one policeman if he could arrest the Villa team as they were mascaraing as a football club, he laughed and said he didn`t think he could!
We made our way out, back in the pub, the atmosphere muted - obviously - spoke to some decent Man City fans (they are very like Villa, seen so many ups and downs, lets face it, mainly downs over the years) and then walked to our train. No noise, no trouble, good decent lads, not a scrapper amongst us.
We got to our train and got told rudely by the police that we had to get the 'football` train not the one our tickets were valid for. I didn`t want that other train, it was full, but we got on as lets face it, football fans have no say, no right to argue and no human rights full stop.
Right, onto a packed train, we had to walk all the way down to the bottom carriage and most couldn`t get a seat. I got one, I can`t stand for that long due to my very great age (41!). The lads I had met and had a laugh with in the pub before the game were there so we were all talking away. Now this was a quiet zone, however this wasn`t our train, we were 'forced` onto it and the train was packed. We had to be somewhere. It was also labelled a 'football train` by the police/British Rail guys telling us to get on it.
One of the lads swore a few times, not the worst crime in the world and was then warned ... he apologised and also spoke with the policeman and a couple of youngsters on the train. Feelings were running high, it was football, adrenalin gets the better of you and there was plenty to talk and moan about!
A few songs were sung but judging by most away days, really not many. I was sitting at the back and had a few chats with a couple of very decent police guys who were standing there as was their job. No issue, no problem, decent guys and the one was interested in talking football. They told a few to not swear during the journey pointing at a couple of passengers by me (who both had ipods on in a quiet zone... another massive crime! so probably didn`t hear a word being said anyway)... pretty much and judging by the woeful football the banter was high, the mood muted.
Then some thought we were in Brum (we weren`t, we had stopped at Wolverhampton!) and started singing 'my old man`.... anyone that knows me will know I don`t sing blues songs unless we are playing them as they don`t exist unless in front of Villa. The mood changed, the police went to the smallest guy (now fair enough, he`d been told not to swear) and more police came rushing in. The beardo weirdo (who no other policeman would take responsibility for 'we don`t know him mate` etc) came flying in like a bull in a China shop. We had ONE more station to go for goodness sake, all they had to do was say sit down and shut up... but oh no.... my mate was grabbed ... there were about 20 singing the song but they grabbed one person, amongst the smallest and one of the nicest guys you could ever wish to meet (and I`d not say that if he was a thug, I`d say tough luck, your doing, bad luck!).
Another mate then said to the beardo weirdo 'if you arrest him, then we were all singing` to which the copper replied angrily (the others had been calm and good at keeping things muted) 'I`m glad you`ve said that, you`ve admitted guilt, come here I`m taking you as well`. Our mate stood there a bit baffled and then the copper shout 'do you want me to come and get you or are you coming here`... he went to the copper thinking he was going to have a conversation about why our mate had been arrested. No, he got arrested. Again, this is a Vital regular, a guy I`d vouch for any day of the week, a stand up gent and again, one of the nicest people you will ever meet, not a fighter, a thug or a criminal. He has no record, no history, nothing. Again, if he was like some I know I`d just think tough luck but to be arrested for asking why his mate had been arrested was just woeful.
They both got £80 fines, if they hadn`t accepted them they`d have been taken to the cells for the night. Blackmail basically.
We all got off the train and weren`t allowed to go. Nope, they wanted all our details. I asked the policeman taking mine why he needed my name, address, date of birth and where I was born. I had sat on the train the whole way, I`d talked to a policeman for a good while etc. He said he didn`t know! lol. You can`t really argue with that and to be fair, I had nothing to argue about, I have nothing to hide, no record and I`ve never been in trouble at games, not my style or interest all that. I gave my details and started to go, he said he`d not finished with me yet LOL. Well, I don`t know what you are meant to do!
I kept asking for the number of the beardo weirdo, the others to be fair to them, were pretty good natured and it is a bugger of a job really, but none of them knew him... ahem!
So there you go, my mates have to decide whether to appeal. I`d not, as if they do it can go to court and could lead to a record I would assume. All for singing a song...?
So there you go, two £80 fines and no idea what the outcome for the other mate will be.
The world is a strange place.... so be careful next time you want to sing is all I`ll say!
Date:Wednesday December 29 2010
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