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20th Aug 2015

5 things you hear at every football match

Tom Victor

Up and down the country, from the Premier League to the Mid-Sussex Football League Division Nine (look it up), football has a few constants.

Wherever there are fans, there will be certain types of fan, and they tend to go through some of the same routines from week to week.

Here are five of the things we can’t go a single game without hearing, and the supporters responsible…

The first-namer

“Oi, Jackie, Jackie, play it short! Simple ball, Mikel! Yes Theo, great stuff, play it, play it, oh for f**k’s sake Ollie!”

They’re not your mates down the pub, pal.

Also, they definitely can’t hear you…


The eternal optimist

You’re 5-0 down, your captain has been sent off, and two of your players are literally in a fist fight with one another, but that’s not enough to deter some people.

As more and more supporters flood towards the exits and the whole of your stand falls silent, you suddenly hear that familiar crackly voice in the background.

“Eh, lads, that right-back’s had a good game, don’t you think? I wasn’t sure about him before but his movement’s been really good today.”

The injury sceptic

The first few times, you join in with the chants of “Get up!” when an opposition player stays down after a challenge.

Then, after a while, you manage to question whether he might actually be injured. You turn around, and quickly realise the shouting is coming from just one person.

The chanting gets louder, more vociferous. Phlegm shoots from the fan’s mouth and catches you on the ear.

You turn your head. The player is being carried off in a neck brace. The fan behind you is calling him a “soft southern prick”.

Crawley Town FC vs Coventry - Sky Bet League One

The budding Bob Dylan

Don’t get us wrong, coming up with a new football chant is no easy task. Why do you think the “He [….] what he wants” format is still so popular?

We can’t fault people for trying to get their fellow fans involved in a new musical number, but all too often it’s just a couple of drunk guys slurring player names, somehow out of time with each other despite there only being two of them.

You want to know why no one else is joining in, mate? It’s probably because they don’t know the words…

The player hater

Every club has an easy target within their squad, who takes the rap when things are going badly.

Sometimes it’s fine – in fact, sometimes they deserve it – but someone normally takes it too far.

Kevin Nolan misses a one-on-one? “F**king Nolan!” Centre-back gives away a free-kick? “F**king Nolan!” Goalkeeper kicks the ball straight to the opponents’ top scorer? “F**king Nolan!”

It doesn’t even matter whether or not he’s on the pitch – once the target has been chosen, that’s that.