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THE BIRTH OF THE TWIRLY


Jambo-Fox
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Jambo-Fox

It was a miserable Monday evening at Fir Park Motherwell. The euphoria of the epic Texaco Cup win in extra time 2 seasons previously had long since evaporated. An attempt at recreating a similar atmosphere earlier in this season in the same competition ended in a 4-2 defeat (4-2 on aggregate). The season was effectively over. Hearts form was poor, they were on a bad run, initiated by a horrendous defeat on New Years Day. Despite that the dedicated 1,200 / 1,500 Hearts fans turned wherever and whenever Hearts played!

 

This was Monday the 19th February 1973 , a league game at Fir Park Motherwell. 

 

The majority of the Hearts support stood on the terracing on the half way line directly opposite the main stand. The Motherwell ‘choir’ stood adjacent to the Hearts fans, to their left. The football was dire!

 

The Motherwell fans in their duffle-coats, the Hearts fans in their parkas (with fur around the hoods) quickly lost interest in the game. This was a singing contest, who could out sing and chant their rivals? As half time approached both sides were bizarrely singing the same song! “You’ll never walk alone”, this was a generic terracing song sung by most clubs in this era, similar to “we’ll support you ever more”. The song (YNWA) got louder and louder however the intellectually superior Hearts fans realised how pathetic this was! Enough was enough no more ….

 

Half time came the Motherwell fans persisted in singing YNWA, the Hearts fans had had enough, this could not continue shout it down! “Boo”, ”ahh” and “aargh” ……. YNWA was silenced! 

 

A small group of Hearts fans included “La” in their repertoire and then “na”, “na na na”! A ‘conductor’ using a maroon and white scarf led them ….. “Na na na nananana, nannana, hey Jude... “! This was not well received by other Hearts fans, the lyrics “hey Jude” over shouted by “Jam Tarts”!

 

Soon there were groups everywhere each with their own conductor conducting with a maroon scarf, “Na na na nananana, nannana, JAM TARTS... “! 

 

Other Hearts fans who were dispersed to the right along to towards the corner flag witnessed this phenomenon and joined the throng. The silenced Motherwell fans looked on in awe, admiration, shock and jealously! By now all Hearts fans had decided to be conductors and the terracing was a mass of maroon and white twirling scarves ….. 

 

…. the TWIRLY was born!

 

As the Hearts supporters buses headed out of Motherwell into the night each one had its own twirly going. Along the M8 things quietened down but heading into the west of Edinburgh the twirlies soon started again!

 

Everybody was thinking was this an incredible one off happening? Could it be recreated in the future?

 

 🎶 Na na na nananana, nannana, Jam Tarts 🎵 

Edited by Jambo-Fox
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Diadora Van Basten

I can’t remember the twirly before 1985-86 season so was surprised it started in 1973.

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N Lincs Jambo
17 hours ago, Jambo-Fox said:

It was a miserable Monday evening at Fir Park Motherwell. The euphoria of the epic Texaco Cup win in extra time 2 seasons previously had long since evaporated. An attempt at recreating a similar atmosphere earlier in this season in the same competition ended in a 4-2 defeat (4-2 on aggregate). The season was effectively over. Hearts form was poor, they were on a bad run, initiated by a horrendous defeat on New Years Day. Despite that the dedicated 1,200 / 1,500 Hearts fans turned wherever and whenever Hearts played!

 

This was Monday the 19th February 1973 , a league game at Fir Park Motherwell. 

 

The majority of the Hearts support stood on the terracing on the half way line directly opposite the main stand. The Motherwell ‘choir’ stood adjacent to the Hearts fans, to their left. The football was dire!

 

The Motherwell fans in their duffle-coats, the Hearts fans in their parkas (with fur around the hoods) quickly lost interest in the game. This was a singing contest, who could out sing and chant their rivals? As half time approached both sides were bizarrely singing the same song! “You’ll never walk alone”, this was a generic terracing song sung by most clubs in this era, similar to “we’ll support you ever more”. The song (YNWA) got louder and louder however the intellectually superior Hearts fans realised how pathetic this was! Enough was enough no more ….

 

Half time came the Motherwell fans persisted in singing YNWA, the Hearts fans had had enough, this could not continue shout it down! “Boo”, ”ahh” and “aargh” ……. YNWA was silenced! 

 

A small group of Hearts fans included “La” in their repertoire and then “na”, “na na na”! A ‘conductor’ using a maroon and white scarf led them ….. “Na na na nananana, nannana, hey Jude... “! This was not well received by other Hearts fans, the lyrics “hey Jude” over shouted by “Jam Tarts”!

 

Soon there were groups everywhere each with their own conductor conducting with a maroon scarf, “Na na na nananana, nannana, JAM TARTS... “! 

 

Other Hearts fans who were dispersed to the right along to towards the corner flag witnessed this phenomenon and joined the throng. The silenced Motherwell fans looked on in awe, admiration, shock and jealously! By now all Hearts fans had decided to be conductors and the terracing was a mass of maroon and white twirling scarves ….. 

 

…. the TWIRLY was born!

 

As the Hearts supporters buses headed out of Motherwell into the night each one had its own twirly going. Along the M8 things quietened down but heading into the west of Edinburgh the twirlies soon started again!

 

Everybody was thinking was this an incredible one off happening? Could it be recreated in the future?

 

 🎶 Na na na nananana, nannana, Jam Tarts 🎵 

 

I checked this thread out as I saw you mention it on the semi-final tickets thread. Thanks for the info about how it started. I wasn't at Motherwell but I can definitely remember the twirly in 1973. I had been going to games with my old man about three years by now (not every week unfortunately).

 

My memory is that by the start of the 73-74 season it was getting sung regularly as were songs like In Dublin's Fair City. We made a great start to the season including victories against the hobbits (4-1 at home) and the huns away (3-0) and were top of the league until about mid October when Celtic turned us over at Tynie.

 

YNWA still got sung but not as regularly. It had its swansong at the Leipzig game but by 77 it had died out as far as Hearts fans were concerned.

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joondalupjambo

The tale I heard was that Hearts played down south in either a friendly, or could have been a Texaco Cup game and the home fans were doing the twirly.  The dedicated Hearts fans at that game brought it back with them.

 

 

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17 hours ago, Diadora Van Basten said:

I can’t remember the twirly before 1985-86 season so was surprised it started in 1973.

 

I can remember it going back to late 70's early 80's. 

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martoon

First vivid memories I have of it was in 1981/82 at Easter Road. A midweek shield game with 10k+ that we won 2-1. My first derby.

 

Even Hibs fans at school the following day said it looked good. They were also a bit overwhelmed by the crowd trouble on the Dunbar end when they equalised.

 

It was called the helicopter back then, btw. I still call it that. "Twirly" is a wee bit too girly, imo. 😄

 

 

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Factuer Moi

I have a slightly worn torn Texaco cup Poster.

 

5 minutes ago, martoon said:

First vivid memories I have of it was in 1981/82 at Easter Road. A midweek shield game with 10k+ that we won 2-1. My first derby.

 

Even Hibs fans at school the following day said it looked good. They were also a bit overwhelmed by the crowd trouble on the Dunbar end when they equalised.

 

It was called the helicopter back then, btw. I still call it that. "Twirly" is a wee bit too girly, imo. 😄

 

 

Was that the Tom Hart memorial shield ?

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martoon
1 minute ago, Factuer Moi said:

I have a slightly worn torn Texaco cup Poster.

 

Was that the Tom Hart memorial shield ?

 

No, FM.

 

It was an East of Scotland Shield game on 27 October, 1981.

 

The Tom Hart thing was a 1-0 defeat the following August.

 

Both riotous occasions.

Edited by martoon
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Clear few
19 hours ago, Jambo-Fox said:

It was a miserable Monday evening at Fir Park Motherwell. The euphoria of the epic Texaco Cup win in extra time 2 seasons previously had long since evaporated. An attempt at recreating a similar atmosphere earlier in this season in the same competition ended in a 4-2 defeat (4-2 on aggregate). The season was effectively over. Hearts form was poor, they were on a bad run, initiated by a horrendous defeat on New Years Day. Despite that the dedicated 1,200 / 1,500 Hearts fans turned wherever and whenever Hearts played!

 

This was Monday the 19th February 1973 , a league game at Fir Park Motherwell. 

 

The majority of the Hearts support stood on the terracing on the half way line directly opposite the main stand. The Motherwell ‘choir’ stood adjacent to the Hearts fans, to their left. The football was dire!

 

The Motherwell fans in their duffle-coats, the Hearts fans in their parkas (with fur around the hoods) quickly lost interest in the game. This was a singing contest, who could out sing and chant their rivals? As half time approached both sides were bizarrely singing the same song! “You’ll never walk alone”, this was a generic terracing song sung by most clubs in this era, similar to “we’ll support you ever more”. The song (YNWA) got louder and louder however the intellectually superior Hearts fans realised how pathetic this was! Enough was enough no more ….

 

Half time came the Motherwell fans persisted in singing YNWA, the Hearts fans had had enough, this could not continue shout it down! “Boo”, ”ahh” and “aargh” ……. YNWA was silenced! 

 

A small group of Hearts fans included “La” in their repertoire and then “na”, “na na na”! A ‘conductor’ using a maroon and white scarf led them ….. “Na na na nananana, nannana, hey Jude... “! This was not well received by other Hearts fans, the lyrics “hey Jude” over shouted by “Jam Tarts”!

 

Soon there were groups everywhere each with their own conductor conducting with a maroon scarf, “Na na na nananana, nannana, JAM TARTS... “! 

 

Other Hearts fans who were dispersed to the right along to towards the corner flag witnessed this phenomenon and joined the throng. The silenced Motherwell fans looked on in awe, admiration, shock and jealously! By now all Hearts fans had decided to be conductors and the terracing was a mass of maroon and white twirling scarves ….. 

 

…. the TWIRLY was born!

 

As the Hearts supporters buses headed out of Motherwell into the night each one had its own twirly going. Along the M8 things quietened down but heading into the west of Edinburgh the twirlies soon started again!

 

Everybody was thinking was this an incredible one off happening? Could it be recreated in the future?

 

 🎶 Na na na nananana, nannana, Jam Tarts 🎵 

Thanks for that Jambo-Fox, been waiting for your Twirly origins story 👏 good stuff.

Hope we’ve got a Hey Jude (Jam Rarts) twirly blizzard going to boost the team and overawe the shite when they run out next Saturday. 

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Factuer Moi
23 minutes ago, martoon said:

 

No, FM.

 

It was an East of Scotland Shield game on 27 October, 1981.

 

The Tom Hart thing was a 1-0 defeat the following August.

 

Both riotous occasions.

I was at both games, thanks Martoon

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martoon
Just now, Factuer Moi said:

I was at both games, thanks Martoon

 

👍

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Pittsburgh steelers fans have been doing this since 1975. They use yellow towels though and call it the terrible towel 😄 

 

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Factuer Moi
2 minutes ago, martoon said:

 

👍

The Tom Hart Memorial game. Princess street getting smashed was the one i remember the most

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jbee647

New Year’s Day 1976 at Easter Road in a 3-0 defeat I believe is the definitive date the twirly came into being

Definitley no recollection of it before that date

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martoon
6 minutes ago, Factuer Moi said:

The Tom Hart Memorial game. Princess street getting smashed was the one i remember the most

 

I remember the EEN covered the hooliganism after both occasions. I was 13 then 14 and Hibs supporting mates, who were getting their first up close and personal experience of the Gorgie Aggro, were awe struck.

 

Walking up Easter Road after the 2-1 win, singing the Hearts song to the sound of breaking glass, is my abiding memory of my early derby day encounters.

Edited by martoon
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Riccarton3
19 hours ago, Diadora Van Basten said:

I can’t remember the twirly before 1985-86 season so was surprised it started in 1973.

Mid seventies, easily. View from the side (standing)was always best before the benches were put in and folk had to move to the corner of the shed as a standing area

Edited by Riccarton3
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Factuer Moi
10 minutes ago, martoon said:

 

I remember the EEN covered the hooliganism after both occasions. I was 13 then 14 and Hibs supporting mates, who were getting their first up close and personal experience of the Gorgie Aggro, were awe struck.

 

Walking up Easter Road after the 2-1 win, singing the Hearts song to the sound of breaking glass, is my abiding memory of my early derby day encounters.

Yeah i remember that scene, was mobbed. We went all the way up to Princess street. I did'nt smash a window or steal anything though. Was a crazy night.

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martoon
9 minutes ago, Factuer Moi said:

Yeah i remember that scene, was mobbed. We went all the way up to Princess street. I did'nt smash a window or steal anything though. Was a crazy night.

 

Ha ha, me neither, bud. I bailed at the top of Leith Walk that night as I lived down that way at the time.

Edited by martoon
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dannymack

One of the best sights you'll see at a Hearts game, love it ! 

 

Captured magnificently by the BBC cameras for the Hearts Cup tie against that horrible lot in 1987.

 

I was delighted the stadium announcer played Hey Jude when the Hearts players took to the podium at the 2012 Cup Final, what a sight with the ticker tape and the Hearts fans twirling the scarves, 

 

Was also good to see Hearts fans hold their scarves in a traditional manner when they played The Hearts Song too but I remember we used to still do that at Christmas time.... IN THE SNOW !!! 😉

 

 

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edramone

Only remember the late 80s when Celtic always held scarves horizontally above their heads and Hearts did the twirly blizzard as a great contrast to what the slop habitually did.

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Mr God Awful Ugly

YNWA got an airing when we won the first division in 1980

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Jingle Bells

IIRC the Twirly was originally a Spanish(maybe South American) football thing.

It was first adopted in the UK by Man U fans, after seeing Spanish fans doing it at a away televised European tie in the early/mid 70s. Due to their hatred of Liverpool FC /(YNWA), they needed an alternative to doing a copycat scarf above heads.

We followed later on, due to our dislike of all things Celtic.

 

Could be wrong but that is how I remember events as a youngster.

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Jambo-Fox
11 hours ago, N Lincs Jambo said:

 

I checked this thread out as I saw you mention it on the semi-final tickets thread. Thanks for the info about how it started. I wasn't at Motherwell but I can definitely remember the twirly in 1973. I had been going to games with my old man about three years by now (not every week unfortunately).

 

My memory is that by the start of the 73-74 season it was getting sung regularly as were songs like In Dublin's Fair City. We made a great start to the season including victories against the hobbits (4-1 at home) and the huns away (3-0) and were top of the league until about mid October when Celtic turned us over at Tynie.

 

YNWA still got sung but not as regularly. It had its swansong at the Leipzig game but by 77 it had died out as far as Hearts fans were concerned.

You have a good memory - well done!

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Jambo-Fox

One thing I never mentioned about that night at Motherwell (when the twirly was born) was …

 

when the Hearts fans were initially drowning out the Motherwell ‘choir’ who were singing YNWA, several Hearts fans going “aah” accompanied it with Nazi salutes. Many other Hearts fans told them to stop and it did become a bit heated.

 

I think the whole reaction to that and the maroon scarf conductors was all part of lightening the atmosphere. 
 

It was a special night, dire football, a slightly toxic atmosphere Hearts fans vs Motherwell fans combined with some maroon on maroon animosity!

 

Such a beautiful happening ..

 

♥️♥️♥️♥️

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wishawjambo

My first memory of the twirly was seeing us doing it against celtic I think I'm sure Scott crabbe scored against them

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LarrysRightFoot

I agree with whoever said the helicopter is a better name for it. 

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martoon
1 minute ago, LarrysRightFoot said:

I agree with whoever said the helicopter is a better name for it. 

 

Not sure I appreciate the "whoever" but you're right. 😄:mw_tease:

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Jambo-Fox
3 minutes ago, LarrysRightFoot said:

I agree with whoever said the helicopter is a better name for it. 

Nothing better than a big ‘chopper’!

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martoon
3 minutes ago, Jambo-Fox said:

Nothing better than a big ‘chopper’!

 

default_ooh_matron2.png.4ea1a0275c2407d64f18c5ee5a4fbf4c.png

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LarrysRightFoot
33 minutes ago, Jambo-Fox said:

Nothing better than a big ‘chopper’!

I did think about the ‘windmill’

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Ballitojambo

Had some great songs mid to late 70s but White Christmas and By the light of the silvery moon bring back great memories, White Christmas at the 7 nil up at Arbroath in the snow , happy days when we were pretty dire.

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Inchgarvie

Can’t remember the first time I saw the twirly but I remember the Texaco cup game at Fir Park. I seem to remember Hearts were winning 2-0 at half time but ended up getting beat 4-2. I remember a massive Hearts support went through, many getting a SMT special bus laid on from St Andrew’s Square bus station. These were the days 😀

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ArcticJambo
14 hours ago, Ballitojambo said:

Had some great songs mid to late 70s but White Christmas and By the light of the silvery moon bring back great memories, White Christmas at the 7 nil up at Arbroath in the snow , happy days when we were pretty dire.

Probably two of my favourites, of the acceptable (by todays standards) ones. Not sure when I lasy heard them sung but then I'm not a regular awsy fan these days.

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TexasAndy

I remember a few twirlys in the 70s but the time I thought it really came to prominence was a Scottish Cup tie at Tannadice around 1984.  We lost the tie 2-1 but didn't stop our massive support putting on a great show

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swavkav
15 hours ago, LarrysRightFoot said:

I did think about the ‘windmill’

I was always told it was the windmill . 

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Lambo85
On 10/04/2022 at 10:23, martoon said:

First vivid memories I have of it was in 1981/82 at Easter Road. A midweek shield game with 10k+ that we won 2-1. My first derby.

 

Even Hibs fans at school the following day said it looked good. They were also a bit overwhelmed by the crowd trouble on the Dunbar end when they equalised.

 

It was called the helicopter back then, btw. I still call it that. "Twirly" is a wee bit too girly, imo. 😄

 

 

 

Always thought The Gorgie Wave would have been a better name for it.

 

Agreed I have never liked it being call "Twirly",

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I remember being in the shed probably late 80’s and the entire Hearts end doing the twirly at half time against Celtic, so impressive it made the highlights of the game on Scotsport old Archie McPherson getting a wee chubby about it😂

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JimmyCant
19 hours ago, LarrysRightFoot said:

I agree with whoever said the helicopter is a better name for it. 

We’ve always called it the helicopter. Pretty sure Archie McPherson named it the ‘twirly’ . He also said it was like a maroon and white snowstorm.

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Worthing Jambo

I remember it starting with “ooooooooooooooooooo” then na na na na Jam Tarts:

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jamtartan74
4 hours ago, JimmyCant said:

We’ve always called it the helicopter. Pretty sure Archie McPherson named it the ‘twirly’ . He also said it was like a maroon and white snowstorm.

I recall him calling it a blizzard. 

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JimmyCant
Just now, jamtartan74 said:

I recall him calling it a blizzard. 

Ahhhh yes, that was it.

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dannymack
On 10/04/2022 at 20:30, Jambo-Fox said:

Nothing better than a big ‘chopper’!

Grrrrrrrrr

1981%20-%20Stewart%20McLaren.jpg

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avhudtheteeshirt

I always thought the "Twirly" was a direct replacement for the "rattle" that was seen at games way back?

It was the same motion just replaced with a scarf???

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Factuer Moi
On 10/04/2022 at 11:28, martoon said:

 

Ha ha, me neither, bud. I bailed at the top of Leith Walk that night as I lived down that way at the time.

Yeah, amazing how clear the memories are of certain events, i forget the actual game. Probably as we were beaten.

Thanks . 

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Tasavallan

Question that I have been wondering about: why do many supporters of English teams not war scarfs to games any longer?  Especially, the big 6 clubs.  Newcastle supporters still do as do Man Utd but Chelsea, Arsenal & Spurs not so much.  Is it due to safety or temperature.  Does anybody know the reason?

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The Maroon Pound
1 minute ago, Tasavallan said:

Question that I have been wondering about: why do many supporters of English teams not war scarfs to games any longer?  Especially, the big 6 clubs.  Newcastle supporters still do as do Man Utd but Chelsea, Arsenal & Spurs not so much.  Is it due to safety or temperature.  Does anybody know the reason?

Could be a London thing? Go on the Hammers 🛠 

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scott herbertson
1 hour ago, The Maroon Pound said:

Could be a London thing? Go on the Hammers 🛠 

 

 

Possibly - the fact they have to travel around London and mix on the tubes post game might deter a few from wearing them I guess?

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NANOJAMBO
1 hour ago, Tasavallan said:

Question that I have been wondering about: why do many supporters of English teams not war scarfs to games any longer?  Especially, the big 6 clubs.  Newcastle supporters still do as do Man Utd but Chelsea, Arsenal & Spurs not so much.  Is it due to safety or temperature.  Does anybody know the reason?

Lads dress in their Stone Island gear. When I say lads , at Man U that could be anyone in the 20-50 bracket. 😄

High age of punters in England top flight games and very few kids.

Much bigger spread of fans/clubs than is usual in say Glasgow or Edinburgh (there's probably fans of about a dozen clubs in my local).

 

Most guys who I have known for over 30 years have never worn scarves. 

On the other side, when I go to Molineux I reckon I'll see far more people in "taps" than I'd normally see at any game in Scotland. 

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