Apr 29Liked by Dom

I used to live near the Bristol Rovers ground and could clearly hear the roar of the crowd, as well at other times the roar of the speedway bikes and the greyhound racing crowds who shared the stadium. It dawned on me how football had changed when the stadium was sold to Tesco and IKEA and the club moved to share Bristol Rugby’s premises. The game was secondary to the money, and the Gasheads fans, named after the gas holder near the ground, were simply a means of generating cash to pay the overinflated wages of the players and shareholders. It’s a business now not a sport, and much the poorer for it. It was never a problem for me watching the crowd on a special duty as I wasn’t a fan, just looking forward to my mug of Oxo at half time.

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May 3Liked by Dom

Great piece! Gave me flashbacks to Everton v Millwall Jan 2006… my Inspector got roasted for having the Mounted section charge along Spellow Lane… I vividly remember making my way to the Gwladys Street end and as I opened a staff door into the fan’s refreshments area, I saw tables and stools - having been ripped from the concrete - being launched, with pints of piss… Both sets of fans had broken the barrier gate and ‘it had well and truly gone off’! I was like Zorro having to protect myself, escaping outside to join my colleagues pursuing the ‘offenders’ … Like many officers who worked the game, I have a few stories…

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Apr 30Liked by Dom

Insightful and hilarious - I have come across that pink abbot a few times!

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It’s interesting that our feeling for the glorious game and our policing experiences are shared,albeit I was policing in a village to the west of you called Bristol. I much preferred rugby to football and I recall watching what was the fewer than six nations in about 1980 in the directors box at Bristol Rovers with cheese sandwiches on tap! Please note, no rare beef.....

Similar respect for police horses, we liked to feed them extra strong mints. They image of an opposing fan being caught by a police rider and levitated for 30 metres is etched in my memory. I also recall the Yankee Poppas or mounted branch in South Yorkshire, they were akin to the charge of the light brigade!

In closing I feel that policing has become much more distanced from everything, whilst on occasions this might be a positive, on many others the public wonder what they are paying for....

Great article Dom....👍

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