Sucking heartily on life's half-time oranges

Friday, 14 May 2010

One Night in Turin

'One Night in Turin', a documentary about England at the 1990 World Cup, was shown for one night only in a few cinemas across the country this week, so we went along, not least because our mate Stuart Hancock had composed the score. It wasn't bad, though I think a sharper, more highbrow film could have emerged - close-ups of Chris Waddle's face as he took his hoofed penalty and the aftermath as West German players celebrated around him, the freeze-frames just before dramatic goals etc were great, but it kept sliding into jingoistic rhapsodies. The slightly grubby, rough-edged play and depiction of the fag-end of English hooliganism seemed a world away from the rainbowish, pan-global glamour of the Premiership, or so I thought: more used to watching 'Looking for Eric' or 'The Damned United' among polite, art-going members of the public, I found myself surrounded by the worst sort of stereotypical fan. Almost all entirely male, oafish, skin the colour of uncooked pastry, aggressively bull-headed, plastic sloshing cup of lager held aloft, they depressingly lived up to the football fan of yore depicted onscreen: jeering whenever someone non-white/male/thin/straight appeared, making derogatory comments about the Minister for Sport for being a bit lispy and ginger, about the girl that the tabloids suggested had spent the night with a few players apparently not looking shaggable enough. They did calm down as the film went on, and as Gary Oldman's ludicrously rapturous narration became loftier, but it was a dispiriting experience. In the age of quid-for-kid days, all-seaters, a female ref and commentator or two, the old order hasn't quite gone away.

Wycombe are, of course, down, but at least did it with serious bloodthirstiness, dragging poor Gillingham down kicking and screaming with them by putting a third goal past them. OUCH; that has to hurt. Unlike the gasping Gills fans, ripped off the fish hook and into the bottom of the boat, it seems WWFC fans had a great time, making our Big Drop into something of a party atmosphere. Ah, the gallows humour. WWFC have always had that 'it was better in the Conference' mentality, at least amongst the 'ole gits I used to stand betwixt; I think a lot of fans are confident we'll do much better at a lower level, and with Gary Waddock given a wee bit of spending money. Roll on, next season.

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