The fans who took it to extremes

WE'VE become used to watching games on TV without the crowds but is the start of the new season making you pine for the cheekiest local derby chants, that half-time pie and the long queue for the bus home? Yeah, us too.

But don’t worry, we’ll be back on the terraces one day. And in the meantime, have a chuckle at these diehards who went the extra mile to show their clubs some love.

Craning for a view

It doesn’t take long, does it? When Aberdeen played Rangers on the first day of the 2020-21 SPL, two cheeky fans got around the attendance ban by hiring a cherry picker to provide an above-the-stand viewing experience. They’re not the first of their kind, though. In 2018, one Lincoln City fan hired a fire engine and watched the home game against Yeovil Town from the raised ladder. It’s thought to be the highest position anyone connected with the Imps has enjoyed since 1952…

Saluting the superfan

Chris Kemp, a 52-year-old man from East London, can claim to be England’s super-est superfan, having been to every competitive fixture played by QPR since 1989. That’s more than 1,500 games. But of course, there are other ways show the love – you could try changing your name, like Gary White Hart Lane, Lee Blackburn Rovers Football Club Spary and John Anthony Portsmouth Football Club Westwood all have.

Feeling superstitious

Fans will do anything to ensure that their team wins. Lucky shirts and socks are often born of unlikely victories and worn, unwashed, to every game until the fine balance between ethereal magic and ungodly stink tips too far one way. The most curious? Surely Chelsea fans waving celery at Stamford Bridge. That ended when the urge to share a stick or four with opposing players led to a stadium ban on veg. The next time someone tells you footballers’ celeries are ridiculous, it’ll be hard to disagree.

Gone for a sing song

Liverpool fans may have stuck loyally to the words of You’ll Never Walk Alone for more than 50 years, but plenty of other match day chants make more creative use of song lyrics… Since Solskjaer returned to Manchester United, The Stone Roses’ Waterfall has enjoyed a revival: “Ole’s at the wheel/ Tell me how does it feel.” Keeping it ’90s, Everton fans made good use of She’s Electric by Oasis when striker Richarlison arrived: “He’s Brazilian. He only cost £50 million.” Nice rhymes and useful financial stats – double strike, Toffees. Of course, for fans to rewrite a famous song for you is the highest compliment. Well, usually. Striker Bobby Zamora was followed from Spurs to West Ham to Fulham to QPR by Dean Martin’s That’s Amore: “When you’re sat in row Z and the ball hits your head, that’s Zamora.”


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