I received this email last night, which I thought I would share.
Hi. I live in Columbus, Ohio, USA. I took my two young sons (8 & 5) with their 8-year-old friend to see the July 20 “friendly” between the Crew and West Ham at Crew Stadium. I am trying to teach my boys about the beautiful international brotherhood of football. Instead, we learned a lesson about how a few scummy, sub-human thugs can ruin the world. West Ham “fans” represented their club by getting drunk, hurling insults, and picking fights. You should be shamed to support this club. Chris D.
I suppose it is deeply ironic that I should post this immediately after launching a competition for tickets to the Cass movie, but there you are.
I cannot remember the last time I saw any violence at Upton Park, but I do know the atmosphere is very different at away games, which is partly why I don’t go to many. I find it shameful when British so-called football fans shame their clubs and our country abroad.
UPDATE Sun 5.30pm: Well I have got my balls well and truly whipped in the comments, haven’t I? However, just bear this in mind. This email wasn’t from some anonymous troublemaker. He was at the game, which very few of the people who have commented were. I don’t doubt for a moment that there was fault on both sides but should we really hold a view that says, well they may be hooligans, but at least they are our hooligans.
If I took two young kids to a football match and saw what this man saw, I wouldn’t be too impressed either. Perhaps he wrote the same email to the Canadian club too. I have no idea. But if West Ham fans did what he says they did, it is not me who should be doing the apologising, it’s them.