Often Partisan

Pride of a Bluenose

I should be writing a preview of the Bristol City game today which kicks off in a couple of hours, but I’ll be honest and say that I’ve not done the research to be able to do it properly. Instead, I want to share with you my sheer pride and happiness in being a Bluenose – and it’s not just because of the result in Brugge.

Before the game, like many I felt slightly apprehensive about the possibility of it “going off” in Belgium. With the sheer weight of numbers travelling it seemed likely that someone was going to do something stupid, and once again the media would have a field day of slagging off Bluenoses. I needn’t have worried – and I humbly apologise for doubting that Blues fans would do anything but have a few beers, a bit of banter and above all a good time.

It couldn’t just have been me who thought it was going to happen either. The local paper in Brugge had a spread devoted to the “Zulu invasion” of their bucolic little city, complete with pictures of Blues fans on the pitch against the Villa. Memories of the chair throwing and pavement dancing during Euro 2000 must still have been fresh in the Belgian’s minds, and I guess in a city with a population of 110,000 or so the prospect of a tenth of that coming for a football match must have felt a bit overwhelming. The article in the newspaper clearly had an effect too, as my friends and I were asked in a few shops how many were coming over and how many were hooligans.

There was even a youtube video made of the litter in Markt after the Blues fans left for the game, with criticism of Birmingham City supporters for leaving empty cans and whatnot on the floor after their mass gathering in the main market square. However, you can’t help but think this was a last-gasp attempt by some of the more uptight members of the community to badmouth what was in the end a friendly mass of fans having a sing-song and whatnot in the city centre. The fact is that without many bins being around, people were going to leave stuff on the floor – when other events are held in Brugges’ Markt square, it happens. It’s not malicious – and it was cleaned up pretty rapidly by the civic authorities in Brugge as by the time the match was over it was all gone.

I hope after three matches abroad where Bluenoses have been applauded for their friendliness and their support of their team that fans of my football club are no longer tarnished with some of the mistakes of the past. It makes me sick that despite topping our Europa League group, despite coming from being kicked in the nuts repeatedly this summer and despite the handicap of losing all their best players Birmingham City are still consistently ignored by large sections of the media when you know that if one single incident had happened we’d have been slated from all quarters. However, it makes me proud that none of this matters one iota to the fans who made Thursday such an incredible day, and it’s made me even more proud to be a Bluenose.

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11 Responses to “Pride of a Bluenose”

  • onlyme says:

    I too shared your fears, after all its always a very small minority that spoil it for the masses, but you could sence that this trip was going to be a good one right from the start. the people of Brugge were very welcoming and seemed happy and willing to say hello and welcome to brugge, the police had a smile and you could see they were intent on keeping things calm rather than forcing the issue.
    I cant help but feel a connection with Brugge and have officially made them my second support team in europe, I hope we can return the hospitality on their visit as they did for us, I urge all Bluenoses, when you bump into the Brugge fans on the return leg, take time out to go up to them, say welcome and shake their hands, make their trip as memorable for them as they did for us.

    KRO…………..

  • Oldbluenose says:

    A well expressed article mate, It is always at the back of ones mind, that a ” few ” idiots could tarnish the name of our club,!!. Thankfully though, our lads are giving a much needed uplift to the name of Bluenoses in all of our European visits so far,!!. Long may that continue as well as our victorious march through Europe, K,R,O.!!!!!!!!!!!.

  • denis thwaites says:

    Wholeheartedly agree with the article and comments of ‘only me’ Many memorable moments for me from this trip but one moment that really touched me was seeing a blue nose lady who would have been deemed a pensioner many years ago leaving the stand at the end of the game and being helped down the stairs by a bunch of young blue noses. Like me she probably stood for 100 minutes watching the game as sitting was not an option. Fair play to her for being at such a game and total respect to those young lads for making sure she was OK coming out. of the ground. Hoping Blues team can do it for us again later

  • kc says:

    I, too, agree – a proud day all round for the club and supporters. The attitude of the Brugge police undoubtedly helped – they were non-confronational but, helpful and treated Blues fans as, er, humans. I know that the policing of football in Britain is different but I think the WMP could learn a lot from them.

    • almajir says:

      Have to second this: the policing in Belgium was top notch – they were around if anything did happen, but by non-confrontational they helped create a good atmosphere. Kudos to them.

  • Ian B says:

    The morning after the game, I spoke to two American ladies who were visiting Brugge as part of their holiday. Their view of the Bluenoes’ behaviour was very positive, describing us at worst as; “boisterous and exuberant”.

    They said they would remember Brugge as a ‘blue and white’ city with a soundtrack of ‘Keep Right On’!

  • Mark says:

    I agree with you regarding the media how quick are they to talk about blues win zero london press…. Our fans showed media that we should not be tarnish with the same brush……… we are the true bluenoses………..KRO

  • Jon Hannam says:

    Brilliant to see so much positivity surrounding the team and fans at this time. I imagine there has been a few more than a few eye brows raised especially after the sportsmanship shown in Belgium. How about a hearty round of applause for a minute led by the Blue noses in the 23rd minute upon their return? Keep right on!!

  • tilts says:

    Let’s stay under the radar then come steaming through take the title and apparently fluke our way to the final in Bucharest….. Lets hope by then someone has taken over from Yeung realised that Hughton is a walking one man miracle and give him a 4 year deal…… After all he has proved his worth in the premier with a 6-0 win over the muppets down the road….. You know them ones who sat there Thursday night watching on the box and rubbing their hands in the 3rd minute!!!!!!

    Although fair play two of my mates text me to say they believed blues looked a very good side

  • Royalblue says:

    Man bites dog and all that with the media I am afraid and Blues fans behaving themselves is not what sells newspapers or gets hysterical TV coverage. Great win and gutted I was not there. Absolutely delighted with my club despite the uncertainty about the ownership, the players being sold and McThirdchoice jumping ship to B6. Wonderful to see us punching our weight as a big city club and sticking it to all the so called experts who had written us off as at best Championship also ran’s following an early exit from Europe.

    That say a slight word of caution. We are now going to be severely tested with a run of games coming up in quick succession with a small squad of players even by Championship standards. I do worry that the Leeds game might be just a bit too early for some of our players to fully recover to play their third game in six days despite squad rotation. Secondly we do have a small section of our support who are far more interested in fighting than football and given an away game in Europe where the opposition have their own head bangers then it might well kick off in the way we all fear. Fortunately the group we are in doesn’t really have clubs with hooligan problems but we may be holding our breath a bit if we make the knockout stages and draw bigger clubs in say Italy or Germany.

  • morty says:

    why would the press write about us ? i mean were a club on a donward slide, going bust and with a owner facing jail, they wont write about the spirit inside the club that CH has instilled and the thousand of true bluenoses who love our club, i mean we not a london club are we….


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