Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Strangers on a train

I came back from Wembley on Sunday in a Tube carriage packed with disappointed Spurs fans plus one Man Utd fan. Because he was ten pints drunk and could not entertain a thought without giving it tongue, we learned all about him. He was forty-eight, he'd been in prison, he was a Londoner but he assured us if you cut him he bled Manyoo. He sang a poisonous song about Liverpudlians as if he was being controversial. It's all a bit lost on Londoners to whom all northerners are much of a muchness. He was the kind of sociopath who swore a lot and then asked the retired lady in his immediate vicinity if she minded. He probably thought this gave him a rough sort of charm. It didn't really.

When he saw the police at one station he slurred "Look at the fucking Dibbles" and then started singing "Harry Roberts is our friend" under his breath. I presume he was referring to Officer Dibble, who used to police the alley occupied by Top Cat, and Harry Roberts, the career criminal who murdered three policemen in Acton. The strange thing is that "Top Cat" dates from 1961 and Roberts' crimes took place in 1966. What kind of person dispenses insults that require footnotes?


  1. But you understood his joke and surely that, in its own way, makes him witty and urbane.

    But still an intolerable cuntgoblin, clearly.

  2. I took my seven year old to see St Johnstone v Dundee on Saturday and won't be going back to a match too quickly. There were a handful of fans like your Man U supporter sitting around us, except their abuse wasn't informed by history and culture. Every now and again there'll be a piece on 5-live about how funny football supporters are. Didn't see much humour on offer at Perth at the weekend.

  3. I imagine Stephen Fry dispenses insults that require footnotes.

    The similarities may end there...

  4. Matthew I was at that match too and I could have taken my granny the atmosphere was so gentile.
    Guess you were just unlucky.

  5. Anonymous11:43 am

    These people exist all over, David.
    The version here in Spain is not as common but incredibly racist.
    I have a friend on Facebook who insists on sending out BNP,UDF and Various other posts to his old school friends who are overwhemingly Catholic or Czech/Polish/Ukranian origin. He has no clue as to why we ask him to stop.
    The "Harry Roberts" song has been sung for years at Football matches but how many Policemen in their 20 would have any idea who he was ?

  6. Michael - It got a lot less abusive in the second half, maybe the booze was losing it's effect. I don't go to matches that often, so was shocked by the language AND cost - £39. I naively thought there might be some self control with youngsters around. I'll stick to Linlithgow Rose home games in future, at least the queue for pies is shorter.