I’ve been neglecting this blog a bit recently, too busy with other things, and wasn’t planning to write anything this weekend. I changed my mind this morning when I heard a report of Tom Finney’s death in which he was eulogised not just for his ability as a footballer but also for his qualities as a human being. That started me thinking about the way that the relationship between footballers and fans has changed. Back in the day when Tom was playing, fans knew the players as human beings as well as footballers. They saw players in the pubs and on the buses as well as on the pitch. I wonder if knowing players as fellow human beings made it easier to forgive their mistakes on the pitch. My memories of supporting Birmingham City as a child tell me that the crowds were more supportive then but I’m not sure if my memories are accurate or if I’m looking back through rose tinted glasses. What I am sure of is that Tom Finney was a great footballer and a good man; I was glad his passing was mentioned before the game and his picture was shown on the big screen.
There was a new protest banner at the ground today, saying “BIHL go now” and matching signs for fans to hold up. I don’t know who is in the group that organised it but they managed to distribute an impressive number of signs. The two protest flags from the last home game were also on display and quite a few of the protest scarves. The Made in Brum fanzine also went along with the protest theme and had the scarf slogan, All we care about is BCFC, on its cover. I even saw a dog wearing a protest scarf and took a picture (see below) to prove it! It seems as though Blues fans are stirring from their apathy.
I still don’t think that protests are going to make much difference out in Hong Kong but protest feels better than apathy. I’m glad that protest organisers all seem intent on keeping the protests peaceful and hope that continues. I’m sad that so many are staying away from games; there were only 14,112 in the ground today. And I hate seeing people leaving early before the game is over. It is not as though they need to beat the rush; with such small crowds, there is no rush.
There’s three weeks to our next home game and the next chance to get a win and beat the home game hoodoo. I plan to be there and stay till the end.