I have been asked on various occasions about a part of the fc matchday experience which is confusing to say the least for new visitors to Gigg Lane, which is our temporary home. FC United usually use two of Gigg Lane’s stands (one is called the Main Stand and the other is called MRE) and visitors can often hear the two stands abusing each other in a friendly fashion:
Main Stand v MRE
(During the last video the MRE was closed so the regular MRE-goers was also standing in the Main Stand)
There are probably two main reasons for this chanting between stands -which can take any form from the simple and harmless “WE ARE THE MAIN STAND -WE’RE LOUDER THAN YOU” to the somewhat surprising and more threatening chant which is a complete throwback to the 1970’s -“YOU’RE GONNA GET YOUR FUCKIN HEADS KICKED IN!”
The first and probably main reason is that a lot of the fans are of a similar age to myself and used to stand in the Stretford End in the 70’s and 80’s when the ground would fill up an hour or more before kick off and so to stop boredom the leftside, rightside or tunnel-(if you look at old photo’s of the Stretty you will see there was a large tunnel in the middle and above that was very small section of standing that used to be packed like sardines!) anyway we would all launch into “WE are the Tunnel” to get a response.
This also grew to include challenging other sections of the ground to sing such as the Scoreboard and Stretford Paddocks which were pretty large corners of the ground.
The Scoreboard in particular used to have a fair few nutters in there as they were next to the away fans and would give them at the very least plenty of abuse. Towards the middle and late 1980’s the United Road and k stand got a bit more lively as some guys grew out of the Stretford End mentality and wanted a bit more shall we say interaction with opposing fans.
So to bring things back to the present day we do sing at each other -but this is simply English humour, banter -if you look on people’s faces whilst we abuse our fellow fc’ers you will see at least a trace of a smile on our lips -we are ,making some noise and having a laugh -end of.
The second reason we do this -err- if you will pardon the expression -self abuse- is very few teams we play at our level bring any meaningful support i.e. ones we can hear sing -passion and naked territorrialism is one of the bedrocks on which football clubs have been built upon for 130 years – so until we get to a level where we can have banter and abuse with opposing fans -we shall probably carry on having fun and games shouting at ourselves.
One thing you will notice is there is much less of this at away games as we are once again truly -UNITED!
I look forward to bringing you some very exciting news regarding our new home in Moston later this week!!