Christopher Sebela

writer, wronger, rearranger

Before the match began, a minute’s silence was called for to honour the ninety-five people who had died. The same minute’s silence was held before every match in the country that day, and, as far as I know, there was only one place where the silence was not honoured.

A minute, it would seem, is a long time at Upton Park in East London.

The disturbance started softly, a handful of supporters embarking on the Millwall chant: ‘Nobody likes us and we don’t care.’ And then, each time it was repeated, it was picked up by more people: ‘Nobody likes us and we don’t care.’ It was going to be a long minute. About half-way through, the chant was being repeated by everyone in the Millwall end—probably about five thousand people. Five thousand people were saying: ninety-five people died and we don’t care—we’re thugs; fuck off. The chant made the West Ham supporters angry, and the people round me stood up and jeered at the Millwall supporters. They were waving their fists or jerking their hands up and down, calling them wankers and scum. There was probably another ten or fifteen seconds to go, when the Millwall supporters changed their chant from the traditional ‘Nobody likes us and we don’t care’ to the more pithy: ‘Fuck off, cunts.’ This they repeated until the minute had elapsed.

The announcer expressed his thanks and gratitude to the crowd.

— Bill Buford, Among the Thugs

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