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A Tale of Two Cities

By Lue Glover :  02/04/2008 :  Comments (53) :

One united in grief, the other divided by hatred.

It's only a few months since the city stood united against violence in memory of Rhys Jones. The Kop applauded as Z-Cars was played and players and supporters were unanimous in their solidarity. People, Red or Blue wanted an end to the violence.

Rewind 20+ years to Hillsborough and the city, once again, united in grief. Everton supporters lost friends and indeed family members at Hillsborough. Is it feasible that we would celebrate that tragic event by taunting Liverpool supporters last Sunday? I wasn't there but some of you may have been. Is it true, am I just naive in believing we could never stoop so low?

More than enough words have been written and views expressed about the derby, some comments have hardly help matters cool and have just added to the simmering hotbed of vitriol that has been bubbling away nicely for quite some time. The situation is now escalating to a point where it will be almost impossible to recover and each derby will become more intense and more vitriolic.

Yes, football is a man's game and you can't go to the match and behave like a big jessie, getting upset because you hear a few swear words. It would be wrong to attempt to sanitise the game, but are we very near a point where the clubs themselves should ask for the fans to moderate the type of insults that are now common place at football games? This isn't about foul language, this is about some insults that if spoken in the street, would result in arrest and prosecution. What happened to the calls of 'let's kick racism out of football', does that only apply to certain football stadia?

I apologise for using the words I am about to use:

I honestly thought that I would never hear the word 'mong' or 'nigger' being used again in a football ground. Sadly that would appear not to be the case. Like I said, I wasn't there but it has been widely reported that these words were used in relation to Lee Carsley's daughter and to Yak's colour. Joleon Lescott was also subjected to comments regarding his facial scar along with a brief ditty reminding Phil Neville that 'your baby can't walk'. I understand that Phil's daughter suffers from Cerebral Palsey.

Is it me or are we really plumbing the depths of the basest of mankind's hatred to fellow human beings?

If the above is all true then surely we must have passed that point where decent people should stand up and be counted and say 'enough is enough'. Dear God in heaven, how on earth could Phil, Lee and the other lads contain their pain and anger if they did indeed hear these sick chants? Please no one come back to say that 'they're professionals, they get paid enough to put up with it'. Can you imagine a group of people calling the most precious thing in your life some of the things that were said? And don't even get me started on the spitting and punching.

Banter, yes; getting called a useless twat, okay (but I think it's counter productive when aimed at our own players!) but calling someone's daughter a 'mong'? No, no and no again.

I am a broad minded person and admit to having laughed the first time I heard the 'baby's not yours' chant so I'm hardly as pure as the driven snow! While I'm at it, I might as well confess to calling Mark Halsey a wanker but at least I wasn't alone. Perhaps that's the point, it was okay to call him a wanker because everyone else was doing it. It's alright to call Joleon "Elephant Man" because quite a few people did it. It was okay to laugh at 'the baby's not yours' because everyone else was doing it.

The day that Z cars was played at Anfield, the MAJORITY of people dictated that respect must be shown, the majority of people dominated the potential small minority who never in a million years would have wanted our tune to be played at their ground. The decent people were in the majority and the majority dictated the events around that terrible time.

Time, perhaps, once again, for the majority to dictate and attempt to end this terrible, distressing cycle of hatred to eachother. I for one, have had enough, I am sickened by what I've heard and I can but hope that some good will come of it.

One thing that we should do on Sunday is show our support to Phil and Lee, Joleon and Yak. I read today that Tim Howard loves hearing us chant 'USA', it gives him a real lift. The lads who took all that stick on Sunday might need a lift too.

Reader Comments

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John Maxwell
1   Posted 02/04/2008 at 20:47:14

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Fine words Lue.

Football really does bring out the worst in some people..

Its a very passionate game, we all know that. I’m sure we’ve all been guilty of saying a few words out of place !

But mocking a disability or somones race is sub-human.

I too have heard so called Evertonians used the N word against opposing black players when we have black players ourselves playing their heart out for the blues.

Some people are just scum and always will be, you cant change that

But how do you stop people chanting what they want.
Joe McMahon
2   Posted 02/04/2008 at 20:56:06

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A very well written article Lee, I read on another post some mentioned that Mr Benitez needs to be much more diplomatic.

I?m hoping the hatred,vile, aggression aimed at the Everton players mentioned will spur them on, to a good finish to the season.

An old friend of mine used to be on standby on machdays for the PA system, at both Manchester & Merseyside grounds. He always maintained that thier was a much friendlier atmosphere at Goodison and what was then Main Road. He said at Old Trafford and Anfield (the countries Faves) the atmosphere was very menacing. I think that says a lot about the kind of people who are attracted to certain clubs.
Rob Hollis
3   Posted 02/04/2008 at 22:02:51

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I have said this before, Rooney’s return plumbed the depths of fan behaviour so lets not pretend to have some moral high ground.

Sadly a proportion of EFC ’fans’ are as bad as anybody else. This just reflects the number of scum who live amongst us. Nothing a bit of selective culling would not cure.
Graham Rathbone
4   Posted 02/04/2008 at 21:41:31

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Excellent article Lue and one I entirely agree with. I am 51 years old and have supported Everton since I was 9. I always remember when I was a kid, my dad (a red by the way) took me to a derby match at Goodison Park, we sat in the lower bullens and were surrounded by both Everton and Liverpool fans I don’t remember the result (possibly because they may have won) but what I will always remember was pissing myself laughing at the marvellous sense of scouse humour and clever wordplay expressed by fans of both teams. Yes through my years of watching the blues I have turned the air Royal Blue at various teams, players and referees, and had many a heated debate with some of my red mates but not to the levels you describe above.

I know we have been hard done to in the past because of events that Liverpool have caused and that angered me like it did everyone else but the vitriol must stop, and I mean from both sets of fans. Because if it dosen’t then the ever more violent and ASBO cultured times will see an end to the derby matches I used to enjoy.
Tony Williams
5   Posted 02/04/2008 at 22:11:20

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It has been getting worse and worse for years now and the chants seem to be getting more personal and cruel aswell.

There are scumbags at every club and sadly we have quite a number at ours. It won?t be long before both clubs start segregating the fans fully for the Derby, which will be a shame.

I am in my middle 30s now and I have to admit I must be turning into my arl fella, as I consider it to be the youth that seem to be the worst culprits.

It is probably a combination of them having no respect for anything, knowing that in this PC world they are pretty safe from any recrimination and most importantly because they are thick as fuck and haven?t a clue how nasty they are.

Scumbags everyone of them, however, I do confess to liking the "baby?s not yours" ditty ;-)
James Byrne
6   Posted 02/04/2008 at 22:28:34

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Great article Lue and I am also disturbed by some of the disgraceful chants and violent actions towards our players on Derby day.

Can I just say though the chants that we are now hearing are the primary result of the lack of respect from their Manager, Mr. Benitez towards our great club.

His comments starting from the "small club" jibe for me have created this campaign of hatred between the two clubs and both sets of fans; Mr Benitez is the most ignorant and disrespectful Liverpool Manager I have known.

The responsibility for the behavior of the fans lies solely with both clubs management and starting directly with Benitez; not the players or the fans.

Just think about what he has been able to get away with over the past few seasons especially while the Yanks have been involved; there has been know one there to pull this clown to one side and have a stern word in his ear.

Clean you act up Mr Benitez, your an embarrassment.
Mo Beresford
7   Posted 02/04/2008 at 22:26:46

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What a load of faeces.

In a society that does not punish appropriately then the boundaries will continue to be pushed.

The kopites have a long and legendary history of avoiding justice.

Have they ever learned any lesson ever? take a look at their behaviour in Athens.

Scum is scum, to try and call it any different is hypocritical. and hypocrisy is the first step towards becoming a kopite.

(BTW, any scrote at Goodison proven to have assaulted any player should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law, and the penalty be one to deter other like-minded scrotes)
Alan Briars
8   Posted 02/04/2008 at 22:41:22

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Good on you Lou! The atmosphere at Anfield plumbed new depths and Evertonians seated near me were as guilty as the other lot. When so called football fans are as sick as some are today and your club can’t wait to sue anyone who disagrees with their stance then it’s time to say good-bye.
I shall be at Marine next season among a better class of person!
Paul McCann
9   Posted 02/04/2008 at 22:55:47

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Excellent post Lue. Some of the chants, from both sets of fans, are ridiculous. There is just no need. I’m no saint, and say stuff at the match which I wouldn’t normally, but some of the shit people are coming out with is scandalous. Just go to the pub, head to the match, have a laugh, let off a bit of steam, and head to the pub again.

I understand why there is bitterness from some of ours [I’m bitter too] and why for some this translates to hatred at the match, but it’s time for the majority to stand up and say no more.

It doesn’t matter what the other side do, because its not about them. This is about EFC and how we as fans should represent our great club. If others don’t change then that will reflect badly on them. I agree with James’ point about Benitez, who has shown a complete lack of class since his arrival [in stark contrast to Moyes [although you could make a case that ’The People’s Club’ quote didn’t help relations]]. I just hope that Benitez is thinking that we’re not such a small club in May.
Stuart Reid
10   Posted 02/04/2008 at 23:35:34

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Excellent article. While I don’t often attend matches I couldn’t agree more that some of the things shouted at grounds around the country are despicable. What I don’t understand is the idea that it is a ’man’s game’ - since when did that mean you have to speak like you’ve crawled from the gutter? Not all men want to scream verbal abuse at others. A bit of banter is ok but players’ families should be very definitely off-limits. Whichever club they play for, these people are human beings.

Benitez doesn’t respect any teams he deems beneath Liverpool - that’s why he rotates players so much and why every season Liverpool drop points against so-called smaller clubs (i.e. poorer). We should just be consoled that his arrogance stops them winning the league.
Kevin O Regan
11   Posted 03/04/2008 at 08:33:44

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Fair play to you Lue ? you are dead right. It is despicable to go to those depths of hatred. Yes we have some reasons not to like them over there, but when you go that low it no longer has anything to do with facts, history, reason and certainly not football. It is pure anger and hatred and this has no place in our football stadiums ? to those idiots I say ?go instead to a boxing club and get that anger disciplined ? and start to ask yourself where is it coming from ? and most of all ? will anything good ever come from this anger ??.
Rivalry is fine, we men seem to need it ? but sport should be fun and enjoyable.
Is it naive to want to see something good, footballers as heros to look up to and a set of fellow fans you can be proud of ?
If so then I want to be naïve, to be a kid again and look forward to Saturday afternoon football.
And Lue, please don?t apologise for what you wrote, be proud of it.

Walt Benning
12   Posted 03/04/2008 at 08:55:10

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Just picked up on this thread.Great piece,Lou.So much for the Capital of Culture bollox,eh?
Brian Waring
13   Posted 03/04/2008 at 08:58:50

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What did it for me was last season when I took my little lad who was 7 at the time away to Fulham. One of the coloured lads for Fulham came over to take a corner, and the abuse, mainly containing the N word hurled at him was unbelievable. The hatred in those fan?s faces. I have been going the game for year?s now, so had got used to it, but the look on my little lad?s face said it all for me. Also, some of the fan?s who have contributed above, seem to be just picking up on the redshite chanting on Sunday, but don?t forget, We are up there with the best of them, when it come?s to sick and vile chant?s.
Colin Grierson
14   Posted 03/04/2008 at 09:38:40

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Couldn’t agree more Lue.
I cant get to the game cos of geography but I see every game on TV. I can hear the chants and often hear shouts from the crowd too.
There have always been vile racists at both us and the RS. The Munich chants were some of the loudest sounds I ever heard coming out of Anfield back in the 80’s. All sang with tremendous vitriol.
I defend the blues with passion but I cant defend the behaviour of a significant section of our support. I wouldn’t take my kids to witness the ’bear pit’scene that was Sunday’s derby. I’ve got loads of mates who support the RS. I’ve got loads of mates who support the Mancs. I never argue with them with anything other than innocent mischief in mind. I take the piss in an unoffensive manner. Its more of a challenge that way.
I was both ashamed for the City of Liverpool on Sunday. As Jim Royle would put it...
"Capital of Culture, my arse!"
Peter Bourke
15   Posted 03/04/2008 at 10:11:32

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When it all boils down to it, everyone is responsible for their own actions. It doesn?t matter what oher managers or supporters say, there is no excuse for behaving like sub human trash. Every team has some supporters who should be ashamed of themselves including ours.
Great article Lou.
Russ Quinlan
16   Posted 03/04/2008 at 10:29:25

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Totally agree, having supported the Blues since 1964, and although I can’t go to games as often as I used to cos of where I live, I hate hearing all this poison at Derby games, and others.
It seems worse at RS games and maybe after years of injustice (i.e. LFC never coming out to publically apologise for their fans actions in the past and their effect on the English game in the 80’s) it could all be cooled down by them making that apology even though its years late. Personally I dont’t think it will ever happen, they are far too arrogant, but if they did it could well cool thinks a bit. It doesn’t help either that Beneathus is LFC’s most arrogant Manager I have ever seen in all my years supporting the blues. Even their last manager (that French bloke!) was more of a human and had respect for other teams. This clown stokes up hatred against all teams because he thinks he is so good. Until they change their attitude to everyone I’m afraid all this will just keep getting worse. It must come from the top, but unfortunately the top at LFC are so far up their own backsides they can’t see.
Ed Fitzgerald
17   Posted 03/04/2008 at 10:31:13

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I agree with your sentiments Lue and I am constantly appalled at some of the chants that people think are funny but is it any worse than in the past?

Many of the posts on this thread appear to be from people who are middle aged and fairly intelligent. I am 46 was the situation at grounds more hostile between supporters in the 70?s and 80?s my memory suggests that it was. For a start the threat and reality of physical violence was a fairly common feature particularly if you attended away games. Chants about Munich were a regular feature when we played Man U as were personal taunts sorry to include this but just the first one that sprung to mind.


?Who?s up Mary Brown, Tommy Tommy Docherty?


Our relationship with the Reds fans has gradually deteriorated as a result of many things the events of Heysel being the main issue. We do ourselves no favours when we scream murderers at Liverpool fans most of whom had not more to do with it than we do. I understand the anger of Blues who feel we were cheated out of a chance to win the European Cup but would you really want to swap places with them. LFC the club does have a lot to answer for as it never really conducted itself with dignity scrambling back into Europe as the first opportunity instead of showing a little decorum. To have the shame of Heysel followed by the tragedy of Hillsborough is nothing to be envious of in my opinion, no matter how many cups you have won.
.
I suspect that most people who chanted obscenities and racist abuse at fans and the opposition were mostly young adults, and I suspect the same is more or less true now. Yes I know that there is an element of hardened bigots and sadly that will probably never change. Whenever anything does happen at the match now the media spotlight is relentless and people like Rafa don?t help by stoking resentment between the supporters. So I don?t think the situation is worse in general which does not make it sad however.
Robert Elliott
18   Posted 03/04/2008 at 11:11:07

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Some excellent comments on here. No doubt the atmosphere between the two clubs has worsened in the last few years. Possibly as a result of the fact that we seem to be far closer to Liverpool in terms of league points/position but I can’t help feel the arrival of Mr Benitez has contributed to it even more. A lot of people seem to think his "small club" gibe was said in frustration at not beating us in the derby last season and was said in the heat of the moment, but I remember reading the same reference (or something very similar) from him in a newspaper article before the game was even played! Then there was his interview after the "Clattenburg" derby this season when he accused Lescott of diving when Carragher virtually threw him to the ground. Time hasn’t help him see sense on that one either judging by his press conference before the derby last weekend. The man had the audacity to say that he felt the referee had favoured us that day! I have a good friend who is a staunch Liverpool fan. In the pre-Benitez years me and him would be able to share a pint and an honest reflection of the game after a derby and if I’d felt they’d been better than us and deserved to win, I would say so (through gritted teeth, but even so). I now find it impossible to have a sensible discussion in the immediate aftermath of the game, win, lose or draw, because of one man- Benitez (although having to see Jamie Redknapp’s face as soon as the final whistle blows doesn’t help either!). I’ve been a Toffee for 20 years and have seen plenty of Liverpool managers come and go. Maybe it’s just me but I’ve never thought that Dalglish, Souness, Evans or even Houllier have the disrespect for us that this man has.
David Edwards
19   Posted 03/04/2008 at 11:47:22

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What an excellent post, Lue - it expanded very well on an earlier ’Phil Neville’ post a few days ago. I think your honesty and balanced approach makes it all the stronger.

As others have commented, I think the arrival of Benitez (and comments such as that ’small club’ jibe) have re-ignited much of the current aggression amongst the fans. I had grudging respect for the likes of Shankley, Paisley, Fagan, Evans and all (even Houiller to some extent - although Phil Thompson didn’t help) - but this Spanish idiot really doesn’t have a clue what respect means (I don’t think he even shows respect to many of his players either).

In our anti-respect/ASBO society we live in today (which the PC politicians, lawyers, media luvey’s etc. have inadvertantly promoted) I don’t think there is anything that’ll stop the idiots on both sides of Stanley Park from their out-dated vitriol - but if the Spanish waiter can start building back the bridges he’s smashed, and we, in the silent majority, can start to fight to get EFC to gain the moral high ground - then hopefully last Sunday will be the nadir that Merseyside never returns to.
Peter Roberts
20   Posted 03/04/2008 at 12:51:48

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Rob Elliott.

Absolutely top post. To cap it all off, Benitez thought that Kuyt?s assault last night was not a penalty either. Most decent Reds I know are fed up to the back teeth with him. And like you said, Liverpool managers in years gone by have not treated us like a piece of crap on their shoe like the Waiter has. Maybe it?s coincided with us being a legitimate threat to their coveted 4th place trophy or whatever, but contrast his behaviour and words with those of Moyes and Ian Ross. They at least treat our neighbours with the respect that they should be given.

I hope Merseyside derbies become better - in my view there?s nothing wrong with a bit of banter - the Gerrard and Shields songs are a bit OTT and should be binned because it does make us look small-time - they were funny while they lasted. It?s when personal abuse gets aimed at players that it goes too far.
Mark Jardell
21   Posted 03/04/2008 at 15:47:32

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The only way to deal with it is to report it as soon as you hear or see it. If you saw racism etc on the streets and a policeman was there you’d tell him... well, football stadia are full of police so there’s no excuse! Racism is not just something that small minded people say that we can just pass off.. it is a criminal offence. At the Fiorentina match there was a guy next to me (lower Gwladys, seat EE 43) hurling racist abuse at both the Yak and Pienaar.. our own players!!! (He was unbearable when the Yak missed his spot kick). As soon as I could I told a policeman about him and I really hope something was done about it!
As for the comments about Carsley?s daughter, if they’re true they make me sick. My brother is disabled and we’ve had to put up with crap like that for years. I don?t care how much a professional footballer should be able to put up with, if Lee Carsley heard it, believe me, he will be mentally damaged, which incidentally is assault.. thats a criminal offence too.
I don?t know how we can stop the Steven Gerrard chant though as too many people seem to like it.. I for one can?t stand it and all my Evertonian friends hate it too. Maybe next match whoever doesn?t like it should boo as soon as it gets sung.
Gavin Ramejkis
22   Posted 03/04/2008 at 16:29:33

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A well written and thoughtful piece Lue, the trouble as pointed out by many already has been the lack of grass roots morality, kids have grown into adults without the fear of getting a well deserved kicking for their behaviour, these have then spawned new generations who through the social programming of living in that environment see it as normal acceptable behaviour, tie that with the common retaliation response of most humans when feel we are badly done to and you get what we are getting now, unfortunately without the intervention of justice for the many heinous and also the trivial acts the RS have got away with the growing image to many people is that they are a fair target and give them what for. I’ve posted before that I don’t agree with this subservient turn the other cheek shite as that was never the way to deal with a bully and rather than a toe to toe confrontation the lowest common denominator is wit (albeit wit of an extremely poor and unacceptable nature from many)
Andrew Brown
23   Posted 03/04/2008 at 19:02:26

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The fact is some of us Evertonians HATE the red shite and everything they stand for. I for one would love to see the ?only sing when they?re winning brigade? bankrupted and relegated as far down as it is possible to go. The saying that no good deed goes unpunished is true when you think that Everton actually helped them when they had nothing, now they think they can say and do what they like and have a divine right to be treated as a ?special case?, like defending the champions league when they weren?t even good enough to qualify for the tournament the following year.
They are arrogant in the extreme and I for one think anyone associated with the rs deserve whatever comes their way!
Dave OBrien
24   Posted 03/04/2008 at 19:27:50

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Mmmm, what you say is right as far as moral’s go. It ain’t right what some people say. You know some fans used to throw faeces at Football games, not sure who they were? The problem is that SKY has attempted to sanitize an essentially working class sport so it is more shocking to hear the filth some people spout. The fact is that Football IS a working class sport, the filth that comes out of players mouths and the post match interviews confirm the majority of footy players fall into that mould. Everton fans threw Banana’s on the pitch when John Barnes played - that’s filth. When you have a limited intelligence range - abuse is the only option. I know it’s wrong and it makes me ashamed to think Everton fans took/take part as much as it makes me angry the RS took/take part but words only matter if they are spoken with conviction and thought. If they are spat and used as a way of showing hatred they are really not worth the toilet paper they are written on. Commenting gives them value, look at Raffa Bent&les and his feigned shock at the Everton fans behaviour/comments whatever. It’s an absurdist drama, played out because people are ’shocked’? Don’t give it the time of day and death to all ginger RS fans!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Steve Guy
25   Posted 03/04/2008 at 19:27:36

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We all know the old ditty "sticks and stones" but I never understood it ,as it?s always been pretty clear to me that words can be the most powerful weapons we have at our disposal. The problem is that unfortunately not everyone can articulate in the way that (say) people do on this site.

The people who spout these disgusting chants are clearly stunted both educationally and emotionally. There is no other way to explain it. For all the crap spouted in the media and elsewhere, racial equality is a thin veneer kept in place by right thinking people; under that veneer the underclasses still spew their vile prejudice.

I stood outside the ground after the Goodison Derby waiting for a mate who had a ticket elsewhere. Others were waiting too; but they were already with their mates, they were waiting for the Liverpool supporters. As they poured out they were greeted by a volley of shouts and taunts....."murderers" and so forth. Plenty of police were about as they had sectioned off that part of the Bullens Road to "protect" the Liverpool fans. These morons were in full view of the Police but no action was taken. So much for zero tolerance.

That?s my point I suppose, whilst Police and stewards effectively turn a blind eye to these issues how can we expect them to be resolved ? Does anyone have any faith that the idiots who spat and rabbit punched Phil Neville in full view of the Sky cameras (never mind CCTV) will actually be brought to book ?

The management at both clubs have a responsibility in this matter and our Board at least can hold their heads up for talking the talk; I?d now like to see them "walk" too. Benitez should have been told to shut the fuck up after last season?s goading and the backlash it caused. Consequently in not keeping him quiet the Liverpool Board are culpable in what happened on Sunday.

A concerted action is required by Police and the Clubs with a zero tolerance approach inside and outside the grounds. I hate the Derby games and have done for years. It used to be because we always seemed to get beat, but of late it has been because of the vile atmosphere which is not evident at any other game we play at Goodison and which has taken all the pleasure out of what was once a genuinely "friendly" contest.
Bill Davies
26   Posted 03/04/2008 at 19:47:19

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Andrew Brown ? there, in a nutshell, is why we have the problem we do. They did qualify for the CL that season - they fucking WON the thing. Winners automatically qualify ? read the rules. Like it or not, fact is fact and Everton do have some narrow minded morons who don?t see past the colour of a shirt.

Andrew Brown - why do you have such a problem about them? We know they?re crap, we know Evertonians are born not manufactured etc... is that not enough for you? I guess you think its acceptable to shout the baby taunts at Gerrard, and therefore think its OK to shout abuse at Neville/Carsley/Yakubu as well? If you don?t agree with the above statement then you?re not only a fool but a hypocrite. I?d go as far to say you?re a perfect example of a RS - total hypocrite.

Nothing wrong in wanting them relegated - I?d love to see them go right down to the Blue Square or some such league. I?d like to see Benitez take them there - he?s doing a sterling job already. Come in agent Rafa......

But there is no need to insuate that ?they deserve everything they get? - did they deserve what happened at Hillsborough? Did people REALLY deserve to die for supporting LFC?

Your comments discredit you - and worse, discredit EFC and re-enforce what a lot of people perceive about it. You feed the media frenzy and give them another stick to beat us with.

If you and your like can?t see that then the problem at the last Derby (and subsequent ones) will never go away....

Mark Murphy
27   Posted 03/04/2008 at 20:46:10

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I was a season ticket holder in the seventies, Glwadys street, middle. There was hatred in those days too! Anyone remember zigger zigger zigger, West hams got a (Clive Best)?? How about There's a hole in your heart, Asda Hartford?? F#ckin hilarious eh, (until he joined us!)... And my dad died of a hole in his heart and its NOT fuckin funny!

I?ve been to Fulham away several times. Its a great day out, some lovely pubs down the river with some intelligent blues. Then we get the match and its full of spite and happy Als and racist pricks who make me wish i?d stayed down the pubs! I?ve been surrounded by "Evertonians" singing the 39 Italians song on the London train after Tranmere stuffed us 3-0 FFS. We are no angels!

What Liverpool were singing and doing at the Derby is reprehensible and Rafa is a very stupid and insensitive "cabron" but I am embarrassed by this moral outrage directed towards the redshites. They are mostly, from my experience, from the same background and families as we are. They have been warped by their own sense of importance in the grand scheme of things (but who on here hasnt sung "who the fuckin hell are you??" to Chelsea, Sunderland, Tottenham etc?) but they are essentially the same people.

Now I hate losing against them more than most - it ruins my week - but its gone. It was 1-0 and nothing will change it. They were horrid to us, and we were nasty boo sucks to them. Its as it always has been and as it always will!

What even I have learned is to move on. I really now dont give a toss about them -outside of the two occasions a season we usually play them. I?ve got redshite mates - they give me stick, I give them stick. Nothing like the hatred on sunday but it gets close. Were still mates though and we?ve agreed not to mention the derby until the next one.
And thats what I wish we could all do - forget sunday, forget them lot. Until the next time!
We are earning our bitter tag - time to grow above it

Stewart Oakes
28   Posted 03/04/2008 at 21:57:26

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Bill Davies you said "They did qualify for the CL that season - they fucking WON the thing. Winners automatically qualify - read the rules." well I?m sorry to tell you that?s wrong. The CL had no rule that the winners automatically qualify, the rules were changed to allow them defend it. One of the lowest teams to qualify were knocked down to the UFEA Cup and the shite had to start in the first round of qualifying.
Paul McCann
29   Posted 03/04/2008 at 22:17:08

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Andrew Brown

It’s an eye for an eye is it mate? This might be hard for you to grasp, but you’re an Evertonian by accident [probably an accident of birth] You could just as easily be a Liverpool fan. If this was the case you would no doubt be on some of their sites saying that Carsley, Lescott, Neville, Yak, Yobo and others deserve everything they get. They don’t. And neither do the Liverpool players, including Gerrard, or Liverpool fans. I don’t want to come across as patronising a fellow blue, but use your head mate! We all need to show each other a bit of respect, or else we’re really in the shit. I actually despair that you read Lue’s post and then responded as you did. By all means, go to the match and get some shit off your chest, but think about how you would feel if you were on the recieving end, or sitting in the opposite stands. We can’t keep tearing each other appart.

Bill Davis

Sorry to be pedantic mate, but the rules of the 2004-05 European Cup actually didn’t make provision for the winners to gain entry to the next seasons competition. The rules were changed subsequently.
James Crolla
30   Posted 04/04/2008 at 02:16:59

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Mo what bloody nonsense!! Unfortunately the reality is Liverpool can never really be REMEMBERED as the city of culture with comments like "lets choose sides".

After the derby game I am ashamed to say I was born in Liverpool and I am disturbed by the behaviour and hatred experienced in the derby game (BY BOTH SETS OF SUPPORTERS).

I do cringe every time I see Benitez interviewed, and if I supported Liverpool I would be embarressed by his comments. However, I cannot condole our behaviour and am gutted that the derby game will no longer be remembered as the family derby, full of passion, respect and a healthy dose of scouse wit!

I don’t think the atmosphere will recover considering the youth culture of today, and I am now VERY HAPPY that we are moving to Kirby - the further away from Liverpool and Anfield the better!

City of culture - you’re having a LAUGH!!!!!!!
Colin Regan
31   Posted 04/04/2008 at 07:02:42

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Good piece... I wasn?t at the derby as living in Australia but attended the Man United game at OT in December with my 3 young sons (at great expense I might add). We were appalled at the abuse dished out to Phil Neville by the 3 blokes behind us,who obviously claimed to be Evertonians despite their broad :Lancashire accents. We all know Phil is not the greatest passer of a ball but his commitment can never be questioned. These so-called fans obviously take the pain of their own miserable existence to the game and vent their anger on whoever they choose... Liverpool FC have become a parody of themselves,a tactless manager and win at all costs attitude, it?s hardly surprising the hatred is on the up...
Guy McEvoy
32   Posted 04/04/2008 at 07:28:19

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At the risk of sounding like a 60s hippie it comes down to how you define yourself. My blueness is about loving Everton, for others their blueness is more about hating Liverpool. Choose love over hate kids! (and , like, peace man!)
Greg Doyle
33   Posted 04/04/2008 at 09:58:49

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Good article, well said.
Simon Jones
34   Posted 04/04/2008 at 09:51:04

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The length of these comments shows how much most of us care about what happened at the derby. I for one, have decided that I’m not getting involved in any more "Murderers" chants, as surely that is the starting point for worse. I don’t hate Liverpool, I just don’t care about them, the same way I don’t care about Fulham, or even England for that matter. I dislike listening to their fans bemoan their lack of success, but when I read the nonsense on this website, I see our fans bemoan our relative success.

Is it too much to ask that we just get behind our team, don’t get involved with the idiots and let the vast majority of fans who genuinely support this club to do it in a positive fashion?
Dave Lynch
35   Posted 04/04/2008 at 12:31:47

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The very first post I put on ToffeeWeb was regards the fans behaviour at WBA away.
Remember that night, Krøldrup played.
The racist chants and the threats I got for challenging someone disgusted me.
I have never been to an away game since.
Jack Septim
36   Posted 04/04/2008 at 12:40:27

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Simple fact boys and girls; We Humans are very cruel creatures at times. It?s all over our history from the start right through to present day.

We?re emotional creatures too. To some people Football is just a game, nothing worth thinking too deep about. To others, it?s a lot more important than that. The merits of both arguements are not the purpose of this thread.

Yes - People who use racist insults and the like are cunts. Utter cunts. No matter who they follow. The fact is, they have ALWAYS existed and WILL always exist. (Humanity will not change enough to stop that, not in our life-time at the minimum.) I personally find the cunts who stand on street corners spitting on the ground, drinking ale though underage, and hurling abuse at old ladies to be below-human scum. Does it matter which Football team they support? No. I?d happily shoot every one of them in the knee-caps to teach them some respect.

The point of this? People are responsible for their own actions. Yes Mr Benitez is a Grade A wanker and possibly the most arrogant manager the Red Shite have ever had. Regardless, he doesn?t make you stand up and shout "Nigger" to Black players, or "Retard" or whatever other bollocks was said by both sets at the Derby.

There are Red?s who are partly resonsible for what happened during the 80s, yes. Does that mean their entire club should be labeled "Murderers"? Does it fuck. Get real, wake up.
Matt Shaw
37   Posted 04/04/2008 at 14:15:42

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Agree totally. Basically, the problem is that there’s too many dickheads with no sense of history and therefore respect - on both sides. Chants should be funny and take-the-piss kind of banter. The boring old "you’re twats" chants are shit. Rise above it Blues, we’re better than them and they know it. Remember I was at a Notts Forest game years ago and my mate started a "Robin Hood was a homosexual!" chant. Ok, not PC, but was laffed at by all.
Simple Simon
38   Posted 04/04/2008 at 15:19:15

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I’m really glad to read such a sensible and thoughtful article. There are types of insults which should never be considered as useable. Both clubs’ supporters crossed the line last week. However, I’m writing purely from an Everton perspective. We’ve got some great fans who often show great passion and wit during home and away games. Unfortunately, there are some particularly nasty, vicious little pricks supporting Everton. I’m sick of listening to the shite that they come out with. I would urge the club to identify the ringleaders with a view to imposing lifetime bans of the scummy little gits.
Trudy Boston
39   Posted 04/04/2008 at 16:52:47

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I can’t stand Liverpool. It’s not hatred so much, just a long standing animosity I have with the club. From as far back as Emlyn Hughes "Liverpool are magic, Everton are tragic" (the fool) up until the present day and Benitez’s "small club" jibes.

The Clattenburg derby added a little more salt in the wounds and each season sees a liitle more reason for viritol directed towards the Red half of Merseyside.

I have to say also, at this opportunity, the behaviour of the fans at the 1985 European Cup Final in Brussels lives long in the memory with the sum total being that not only 39 Italian fans lost their lives but we were denied a great opportunity to win the European Cup.

1985/86 could, and should have been one of the greatest seasons in Everton’s history, but sadly, it’s only remembered for all the wrong reasons.

On to the events of last weekend and the treatment dished out to Phillip Neville and Lescott from the Anfield crowd was nothing short of sub-standard. I can understand and I can appreciate the feeling and Intensity of a Merseyside derby, but spitting on our players and racial taunts go well beyond the pale.

After the game, David comes out with something along the lines of "Liverpool have not met their expectations this season, I think they will be disappointed with only a fourth or third place finish"

I can’t work out if he was being kind or if it was indeed a snide remark. I hope our manager is not descending to Benitez’s standards.
Anthony Lamb
40   Posted 04/04/2008 at 20:57:06

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What a sad indictment of BOTH clubs! In the saga of both clubs’ attempts to build new stadia there were some sound reasons proposed for both clubs sharing a truly prestigious stadium which would of course have called for quite profound levels of partnership, cooperation and perhaps seeing beyond the worst effects of a narrow parochialism. What a joke! faced with the appalling levels of degradation exhibited by sectors of the crowd at the derby what do we get? Mr Benitez coming out with his irresponsible narrow, manipulative comments provoking a reply from the Everton spokesperson. Neither party seemingly able to come out of their respective bunkers reducing the issue to an almost "our supporters’ degrading comments were not as degrading as yours"!.Did neither club not see fit to call a joint press conference attended by the chairmen, managers, captains, CEO’s, and others holding "senior responsibilities " (e.g for stewarding? Surveillance? Police liaison? P.A system announcements?) in order to express their utter repudiation of what had taken place and to outline the steps they intend to take, within their own club cultures, and together, to eradicate it? To act upon any physical evidence available to each club and to pledge to support the prosecution of any offenders so identified.(Or in my anger did I miss such a public addressing of the issue?) Perhaps then Mr Benitez could admit the error of his self-interested, quite manipulative ways, apologise and get down, together with all other interested parties, in identifying that good unique, intense rivalry that once existed between the clubs, but which is slowly being eroded, and take creative steps to arrest its disintegration. Then perhaps, responsible parents can once again initiate their children into a worthy tradition by accompanying them to an intense, competitive, passionate occasion and not the poisonous, debased atmosphere that these events have become. The authorities at both cluibs should be ashamed of themselves.
Steve Carter
41   Posted 05/04/2008 at 02:04:45

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Shortly put, as previous posts have put it: (a) football is a working class game (this stuff doesn’t happen at rugby games or cricket matches - well at least at cricket matches in Britain at least) and therefore has more of the lowest common denominator factor); (b) there’s the herd mentality and (c) our supporters aren’t blameless.
Tom Davies
42   Posted 05/04/2008 at 14:49:15

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To be perfectly honest I think that the players should be able to put up with abuse, it comes with the job. They are all grown men who are being payed an absolute fortune.

I also think that Everton FC would have not made any fuss if it wasn’t for that idiot Benitez moaning an stirring it all up once again.
Ted Chritchely
43   Posted 05/04/2008 at 14:36:56

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Whether we like it or not, there is a large base of unforgiving blues fans, who through one reason or another continue to spit vitriol around the place, this being the minority. Their reasoning or excuse whichever you want, was that the shite put us back a good 20 years in development, since we lost so much.

The sad truth is on that day, and the shite know this themselves, they knew we had overtaken them in both skill and the best team in Merseyside..(but there is only 1 team in Merseyside anyways, and that's us) that they didn't like this, and set out to try and destroy what we had acheived... unbelievably what they did, managed to do just that with a 5 year ban that costs us around 80-odd million pounds in qualify for the European Cup and Uefa Cup etc..some things people won't let go off. They are convinced the shite destroyed us.

No matter what occured... there can be no excuse to personally insult and attack players. Criminal Law seems to be completely absent at matches these days... it?s time the clubs and the police did something to permanently ban this type of scum from the game..

For those fans (who I'd hesitate to call fans in the first place), shit happens, the club has moved on, the club made mistakes, especially since Everton should have been the first team allowed back in Europe from britain. It didn't happen, EFC fucked up..

It?s time to move on, and stop these degenerates in the first place... hurt them where it matters with full permanent bans from ever attending a game again... they obviously can't behave, and as such have no right to be in any football stadium, whether at Anfield or GP.
Ray Robinson
44   Posted 05/04/2008 at 16:45:01

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Great article Lue. One that reflects the way I feel entirely. Although I go to most matches, including those away, I will not be going to the derby at Anfield next season.
Andy McNabb
45   Posted 06/04/2008 at 08:13:58

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Excellent article, Lue. I suppose the saddest part of the whole thing is that we used to be able to stand together at such gatherings, when others couldn’t. It would be naive to say there were never problems but we were rightly proud of this. Now it appears we are, if no worse, certainly no better than any one else.
The whole thing is a reflection of our society, where a lack of discipline has led to a situation where so many people have zero respect for their fellow human beings.
Living in Australia, I used to feel a certain pride in our tribal following of clubs in Europe. Aussies don’t really understand that and although passionate about their teams, in the main they seem able to stand together with opposing supporters at AFL matches. Maybe they will fall from grace one day the way we certainly have on Merseyside.
There are certain words in the English language called contronyms where the same word can have contradictory meanings. ’Culture’ is one of those words and Liverpool will only truly be the ’City of Culture’ if we are talking about single cell bacteria which grow in test tubes. Sadly, that’s the extent of the brain power exerted by both Liverpool AND Everton mongrels at last week’s derby.
James Doherty
46   Posted 06/04/2008 at 11:58:28

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What a great article. It really brings home what madness and maliciousness goes on at the Derby games these days. All those personal things that be shouted at players with such venim is really not needed in the game. OK this years derbies have been even more intense and passionate than previous ones because the 2 clubs are so close in the league and competing for the coveted 4th place, but the passion should be channelled in a more appropriate way like just singing good old songs to get your team going. But I have to say that some of the blame this season rests with a Mr Clattenberg. I was at that game and his decisions that day were totally biased and did nothing to encourage friendly banter between the fans. In truth he could have been charged with a breach of the peace for Gods sake! But all in all nothing excuses personal jibes against players or their families.
Alex Pat
47   Posted 06/04/2008 at 20:57:37

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I think I missed something here didn?t I..
You are all talking about going to a church now aren?t you? Because I can?t believe your complaining about language/chants at a football match, surely!
Get a grip, we?re already told what we can and can?t do by the thought police known as 'political correctness'. If you don?t like it... don?t go. Keep going to church boys!
Juan Roman
48   Posted 06/04/2008 at 21:17:37

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Outstanding post. I made a similar (less well written) response to the object thrown at Jensen at the Fulham game last season and I got the usual responses about how they earn enough money to get hit, it’s part of the game etc. It is part of the game but it shouldn’t be. Anyway, I’ve nothing to add that hasn’t already been said. Great to see so many blues agree generally with the original post. But where are those "fans" that defended our away fans at Fulham?
Dave Stevens
49   Posted 07/04/2008 at 09:26:21

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Ray Robinson - If people of good moral fibre who think this behaviour is disgusting no longer go to the Anfield game then it will simply make the problem worse - in all likelihood your seat will be taken by someone who enjoys the anger, vitriol and sick chants. Dont give up because it’s getting bad, stand up for what you believe in and keep going to teh game, otherwise the rabble have won and the problem will get worse
Mark Lowery
50   Posted 07/04/2008 at 10:14:47

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Alex Pat.

What a silly thing to say. I think most people here don’t mind a few swear words. I for one have been called a "piss-toothed shit bummer" and didn’t even think twice about it. However, there is a bit of a difference between a bit of banter and vile vitriol and I think that’s the point most people are trying to make. Do you think a bit of casual racism or taunting of someone’s disabled child is ok, Alex? Do you really? There’s a world of difference between the thought police and just generally thinking that some levels of abuse are sick and unwanted at the football grounds. There are plenty of people who disagree with me of course. You will generally find them in pubs called things like The Brittania, The Hope and Glory or The Dirty Immigrant. They’ll be the ones with the shaved heads handing out leaflets and beating up anyone who might look a bit gay.
Remi Murray
51   Posted 07/04/2008 at 12:15:52

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I totally disagree with some of the comments here. First off, no player should have to put with abuse about their race, physical appearance, sexuality or anything directed at their family. "You fucking wanker!" or "You useless dickhead!" are not on the same level.

Also, I don?t equate Evertonian chants or behaviour over the years to that of the RS. At the derby they had fans singing about Phi Neville?s supposedly disabled daughter and Lescott?s injury as a kid! This is the same sub-human mentality that attacked the ambulance that was taking Alan Smith to hospital. In my opinion, the RS have a nastier hooligan element, and there?s a history there to prove it.
David Yates
52   Posted 07/04/2008 at 12:35:24

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A fine article, and dismaying to read, cause we are all part of this, even if we dont say it, we accept it, and we should not....
The treatment of all the players (Blue & Red) was beyond the boundaries, but some of the things we are starting to hear that was said is sickening. And some are blaming others, even that its the youngsters, but that was not a youngster cowardly whispering in Phil Neville's ear from the "old" Kemlyn Rd stand, he was a grown up "shithouse" and I hope hes one of those who get charged, cause LFC should know, it would be easy to identify his seat number.

But I'm not just picking on "them"; we have our own too, and it's disheartening, for a once great spectacle is starting to be dragged down into the gutter, and who can change it....its us, the people who go, who can say "NO" we are not like that, and wont be. So let's shop the dickheads when it goes over the top, and you all know what I'm talking about ? not good old banter, with swear words.... I'm on about the sick stuff that Lue Glover correctly highlights.

We can do nothing about Benitez who people correctly are saying has added fire to this with his arrogant and disrespectful demeanour, he is getting his just desserts by them being as far away from winning the league as ever, no matter what they do in Europe...
It's time to stop talking and too take back our derby match, the ones we have all loved through the years, and the ones which everyone else have nothing but envy.

John Charles
53   Posted 07/04/2008 at 14:09:00

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Agreed, kopites were low last week...

However, I would point out that we also have a problem. I have sat amongst certain - small - sections of our away fans and have been embarrased to be an Evertonian a few times. Seriously.

Chelsea away last season down the low tier near the front.. .thoroughly embarrassing.

Stewards maybe need to be given more power to eject people -or else they need to idenfiy the culpits with the cctv office and have the offenders arrested at the end fo the game (because during the game it causes chaos and is dangerous).

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