Far be it from me to preach to anyone about how they should conduct themselves at football games, but for those who filled the air Tuesday night with Istanbul and Munich chants, listed below are the 25 people that died in those disasters. Some were there to play football, some to report on it, whilst others were there solely to support their club, as was the case with our own fans, Christopher Loftus and Kevin Speight.

Captain Kenneth Rayment, Tom Cable, Geoff Bent, Roger Byrne, Eddie Colman, Duncan Edwards, Mark Jones, David Pegg, Tommy Taylor, Liam Whelan, Walter Crickmer, Tom Curry, Bert Whalley, Alf Clarke, Donny Davies, George Follows, Tom Jackson, Archie Ledbrooke, Henry Rose, Frank Swift, Eric Thompson, Bela Miklos, Willie Satinoff, Christopher Loftus, Kevin Speight.

The reason I chose to list the names at the top of the post is because the tendency to constantly refer to these disasters by the place name in which they happened removes the human element. People forget that it was fans like you and me, and the players we all pay to go and support that died in these tragedies. And when that human element is forgotten, their deaths become nothing more than a sickening soundbite for terrace warfare.

On Tuesday night as Leeds and Manchester United faced off in a League Cup encounter at Elland Road, the supporters of both sides used the tragedies to anger their opposition. The untimely deaths of 25 people were used as nothing more than ammunition in a game of terrace one-upmanship.

The indifference with which some have shrugged off the chants, branding them “inevitable” was almost as disturbing as the chants themselves. We somehow managed to get through an entire game at Old Trafford in January 2010 without incident, yet the same fixture at Elland Road less than two years later sparked ugly scenes before the game had even kicked off.

What changed here was the premeditated actions of a few idiotic Manchester United “fans”, which many of you will have by now seen on YouTube. This however, was inside the stadium, and it’s impossible to ignore the fact that it all kicked off beforehand.

A common report I’ve heard is that the mood shifted when a coach arrived with a “Turkish Reds” banner on board. This was followed up by the Istanbul banner inside Elland Road itself.

These sickening, and premeditated actions, were designed to get a response from the Leeds United faithful. The idiots that created these banners came to Elland Road with the sole intention of causing trouble, of creating the kind of hostility that leads to mass violence and could quite easily have led to much more serious injuries than those reported.

I’m not saying the chants wouldn’t have happened regardless, but judging by the amount of Leeds fans that booed the Munich chants when they began and based on an altogether more peaceful affair at Old Trafford the last time round, I sincerely doubt they would have. These things always need a spark, and that’s what the sickening banners provided.

At that stage, even the most rational fan can get consumed by anger and find themselves shouting things they’ll later regret. I’ve seen it happen all too many times, peaceful matches turning incredibly hostile in a split second by a single incident.

Whether it’s a Millwall thug with a Galatasaray shirt, an opposition player making crude gestures to the crowd or an hate-fuelled banner, these are the kind of despicable actions that can turn an otherwise peaceful encounter into one where people get hurt.

This isn’t about who started it, but the people who brought along that banner were an entirely different class of scum who deserve extreme punishment.

The problem with chants inside football stadiums is that there’s very little the authorities can do about them – that’s entirely down to us, to boo the minority that join in and educate the ignorant as to what it is they’re singing about.

But in some rare cases, it is possible to isolate and punish the source. In this case, the video evidence will make it pretty easy to identify the worthless individuals who spent the night before this game creating a banner they knew would provide the spark a potentially volatile fixture would need to erupt.

Whilst they may have been sat in the Manchester United end, these idiots didn’t care any more about the memories of the 23 that died in Munich than they did about the Leeds fans that died in Istanbul – they knew what reaction they’d get, they were hoping for it.

It wasn’t just the 25 victims of Munich and Istanbul they didn’t care about though, they knew their actions would spark clashes outside the ground putting the innocent supporters of both sides, and the Police at risk.

They knew all this, yet still decided to create a banner and display it inside Elland Road. It was premeditated and unforgivable, and as such, the authorities should show these individuals the same level of consideration they showed everyone else when handing out punishment – absolutely none.

None of this gives anyone else the right to chant abuse and respond with violence however. Those that booed I applaud, those that joined in need to seriously consider what it is they’re chanting about – on both sides. The longer we continue to fight fire with fire, and use the oppositions actions to excuse our own, the longer this continues. It’s a vicious circle only the fans can break.

38 Responses

  1. Liamcasey21

    Great article, I left on tuesday feeling only saddened by the events and questioning if I would attend fixtures like this again. Unfortunately it’s a deeper problem than just football terraces. It’s a society problem. The recent riots are a perfect example. The UK is full of these morons (no Ken Bates pun intended) who have no regard for anyone but themselves.

  2. Bubionwhite

    Well said TSS … here you speak for the overwhelming majority of Leeds United fans. The perpetrators on both sides should be identified and banned from every football ground in Europe … for life!

  3. Feel_vibes

    shit article, biased, you’re just taking shots at united really, have a go at your own pathetic excuse of a football club

      • Phill570

        The post from Feel_Vibes i think comes from a Scum fan. I believe he was disagreeing with TSS putting blame on Scum. He refers to scum as “United”

    • TSS

      There were no banners at Old Trafford and Elland Road from Leeds United fans. I was there myself and have heard accounts from many others, and the banners are what sparked it. It’s a premeditated act, a lot of what happened was a reaction to that. 

      That said, I’m excusing no one. I just think the record should be set straight. The Manchester United fans seem intent on excusing themselves due to abuse they’ve received over the years, but that does not permit you to go around and use other people’s deaths as revenge. If everyone keeps using the actions of the other fanbase as an excuse, it’ll never end. 

  4. Jon Hunter

    Good article, unbiased, you covered off both sides of the story really.
    Chants like this tarnish football. I wear my Leeds shirt proudly and have been with the club through all the ups and downs, however things like this make me feel ashamed.

  5. Mightywhite83

    Why has nothing been mentioned about the orange flair that was lit and the numerous objects thrown from supporters in the south stand.

    I don’t see this article as biased at all it’s pointed out problems with both sets of supporters but states this was all fuelled by the idiots with the banners outside the ground… I read an article on a scum blog by a reporter from the daily mail who puts all the blame as usual at the foot of Leeds united…. I feel we have always come under criticism for this subject and for once it was nice to see the tabloids criticise the mindless, idiotic, glory hunting fans of Manchester united as like in there song think they can do wat they like?!!

  6. Ajflynn1982

    I’m a Leeds fan. There were a lot of those polystyrene planes at Old Trafford being thrown so we are just as bad with the premeditated stuff to be fair – those that were throwing them were scroats – kids who know no better and need a good clip round the lughole.

    The banner and shirts were a disgrace as was chanting on both sides.

    The Giggs chants were funny – he shat on his own family, deserves it and is still alive to enjoy his mounds of money. The 25 that died deserve to RIP and be respected!

  7. Tyler75

    Fine article TSS. 
    However it was provocation pure and simple by a subhuman element among the away support and unfortunately we have more than enough idiots of our own willing to respond in kind. 
    I don”t hold out much hope of any action being taken against the offenders because of the club they ‘support’  and the fact they’ve been getting away with the same sort of thing at Liverpool for years – can you imagine the outcry if Leeds fans had unfurled a ‘Munich Whites’ banner at their place in the FA Cup ? There would have been calls for us to be thrown out of the league at the very least. Meanwhile Millwall also continue to get away with their provocation and bile without any sanction. Any arrests from our game at the Den last season ? No ? Didn’t think so. The very sad fact is that until the police and football authorities grow some, these incidents will continue. 

    • Phill570

      Fully agree with everything you say there. The press and authorities are always too quick to vilify the Leeds Supporters. I think our impeccable away record recently though is down to the very good away ticket process we have, something i believe the likes of Millwall don’t have. Its not the done thing to persecute Scum, however its so easy to do Leeds because no one would argue. We do have an element of idiots, but to be honest there kept on a pretty tight lead.

      • TSS

        Totally agree. Rarely see trouble at games these days, and 9 times out of 10, when you do it’s caused by the opposition fans expecting Leeds to be “up for it”. 

  8. Pete

    David Pegg was in my Dad’s team at Doncaster Boys. I would never join in these chants, but I remember the crash and the national mourning at the time; I don’t think anyone who remembers the crash would chant things. Not excusing those who do, but don’t think they are old enough to realise that ALL fans in the country at that time were in mourning. on the other hand, I will never go to Turkey on holiday because of what happened there, and some of my friends think that is stupid.I think the young fans from both sides just chant things to wind each other up.

    • TSS

      I think you’re right – it’s ignorance basically. 

      Just read an article by Andy Cole (the former Scum striker) that points out the anonymity they’re benefiting from as part of a crowd. That’s a big part of it too I feel. 

      • TSS

        Calling Manu “Scum” is like calling your best mate a knob. There’s no malice to it. I’ve been called “Dirty Leeds Scum” a million times, I actually take it as a compliment that they care so much they feel the need to try and insult me. Even my Dad refers to me as Leeds Scum when we’re talking football lol. 

        We’ve had this debate before, and one does not lead to the other. There’s a huge difference between banter and what we saw Tuesday. One is fuelled by hate, the other is having a laugh. 

      • Dano

        If theres no malice tss go follow bradford, they could do with the support. Football is passion, that overspills off the pitch.it doesnt stop after 90 minutes.sick of people talking about turning the hatred on for 1 tuesday evening.

      • leedsbornandbred

        wow you’re sad. football is a game at the end of the day, if your wife, sister or any relative told you you were dirty leeds scum you wouldn’t be a knob to them would you, or throw a missile at em. grow up. if you’re gna act a child then dont read TSS. mot

      • Anonymous

        words and deeds are only offensive if the person they are directed at takes offence .
        having a banter fest with your manu buddies or dad is different from 30 manu fans at old trafford gnarling obscenities ending in scum .and you are right thats the point and i know thats how you meant it .
        But in my opinion the Munich song and the Istanbul stuff as you rightly say went beyond that ,the point is the rest and everything after that stops being banter when these things are said .
        i have a collective word for Huddersfield and Bradford fans who come into my pub “BITTER AND TWISTED “and trust me i get loads of stuff said back .
        But i remember when i walked into the local after the chip van incident at odsal and was really in fear for myself ,the banter had dried up and although the same stuff was being said it was no longer banter .

        cheers tss MOT


  9. Anonymous

    quite frankly this is a disgrace i have been going to elland road since 1980 31 years and have never ever joined in with any vile songs not even stand up if you hate manu because quite frankly when we are playing Bristol why would they care we hate manu .that particular song is geared now to winding stewards up now telling them to sit .

    There is absolutely zero point to this not any people going to footy matches getting seriously hurt are you kidding ,Its football for gods sake  .
    there are 50+ year old men going to football matches and fighting and whats more taking their teenage kids with them .I have mentioned many times on here about that young up and coming element of teenage wannabe football thugs ,well what chance have we when their dads are leading the chorus ..

    i  have heard that Munich song many times and i have been as far supporting leeds as they have been over those 31 years and don’t get me wrong we have been abused and on some occasions it has been right to fight back usually i have to say against those there to keep us safe namely Italian bobbies ..

    There are no real winners from Tuesday  alright it was the banner that was a catalyst but what about the prematch out breaks of dissorder .BOTH sets have fans were a disgrace , there is no well you started it ,well you sang that .now that banner was a disgrace and a few other words and we have never, leeds fans that is done anything like that .

    I have asked many a fan what its all about and the answers range from wars of the roses to cantona and any other answer they can think of ,in short noone knows and even shorter answer is there is no point .

    IT is time that whoever it is got together with other supporters clubs and try to bring this to an end, for us with millwall cardiff and others and make it clear it is unacceptable and dobb people in .
     we lost 2 of our own under circumstances not in real terms too disimilar to some of our recent battles with other teams .and having a millwall bus window land on my own head and seeing the terror on my young sons face as i was sorted in the back of an aumbulance .we have to say we are better than this and as a whole stop it for the next generation and so we all go home saturday for tea after the footymatch like we all should …

    2 wrongs do not make a right, iam as passionate as any one else but never to the state of hurting anyone over a footy match ,good hearted banter welcome ,nasty horrible chants not .

    we have kicked out racism in uk football its now time to rid us of this

  10. Shakamoto

    What caused the incidents before the match? The incidents before the game, came before any  banner from the Man United fans, so why did some Leeds fans throw missiles at the Police. Surely there was no provocation by the Man United fans at that point, so was that just thuggery by Leeds fans?

    • TSS

      I was around Elland Road pre-match, but when everything kicked off I was in the pub so can only tell you what I wrote above – that many fans spoke of a Manchester United coach arriving with a “Turkish Reds” banner in the window (think this coach was attacked). 

      Heard a few different versions of events, a few said there was a group of Man United fans left to walk to the stadium unaccompanied and they got into it with the Leeds fans, but it depends who you ask as to who started this particular altercation. 

      What can’t be denied is that there were minorities of idiots present from both sets of fans, who were there to cause trouble and nothing else. But this is always the case and the Police do a great job of dealing with these idiots. The banner escalated things though, and the minority increased as generally well-behaved fans were angered and started to join in. 

      • pete.w

        No generally well-behaved fans ‘join in’ no matter how angry they get..!! Not unless they’re generally well-behaved nutters!!

  11. oldschoolbaby

    That was a bit of a semon.  A top drawer sermon I grant you, but a sermon nonetheless.

    Testosterone fuelled young men, tribally minded with a surfeit of aggression do have their uses.  It`s called warfare and then they become heroes.  It was ever thus.  If you are really capable of turning the other cheek, regardless of provocation. you`ll have the best selling book of all time written about you.

    The real stupidity here is adopting a form of attack that has a blatantly obvious, equally effective, counter.

    Blameshifting is easy but my impression was that the origin of the stupidity on Tuesday night was tainted red. 

  12. Dano

    unneeded politicising tss. players dying – fair game, fans dying different story. be low of everton fan to unveal a brussels or sheffield banner at their next trip 2 anfield. and to my mind this has never happend, could be wrong. but the point is this- payers, managers, owners are fair game, but supporters laughing at the death of other fans is lower than low. no 2 sides 2 this argument, manc scum. hope eufa finds a turkish team 4 them 2 play in europe 1 day. and after this i hope they have their knives out. MOT.

    • HtS

      Imagine for a moment that the 1998 Stanstead crash landing had resulted in casualties … players, managers and owners still fair game?

  13. Camaac

    Damned good piece but it was very difficult to make myself read it word by word. Part of me wanted to skip bits but eventually I made myself read every word, every name, red, white or neutral. Wasn’t easy but every one of them was there because of football. Everyone had friends and family. Everyone died too soon. There’s nothing to celebrate there.

  14. pete.w

    The origin of the trouble might have been tainted red but the escalation of the trouble was definitely white – but – BUT – not true Leeds fans – but those cretins (not nice anti-Ken morons!) out of the 9,000 nextras that turned up on Tuesday only turn up for Man U, Millwall and Cardiff games with their mobiles and most obviously their way out of date ‘Top Man’ sponsored shirts showing how long it is since they were regular supporters! I mourn the dead! I enjoy the rivalry. And football might be tribal! But testosterone and violent stupidity don’t have to go hand in hand! MOT!!!!!!!

  15. Banditsteve123

    Its time things like this stopped leeds fans have sung the munich song for as long as i can remember then you have the spurs song there is something really wrong with thease people,but it is not just football there seems to be a growing unrest a lot of anger on the streets,would hate to see it happen but maybe time to ban away fans from certain games before we have other deaths to deal with

  16. Mr Pr1979

    Always look out for turk’s carrying knives der dum,der dum,der dum,der dum….

    just one of the horrible chant’s that the SCUM where singing.

    i just hope that the friends and family off the two lads that lost their lives in turkey were not at the game…R.I.P..


  17. Anonymous

    Andy Miles of Batley,time for all these songs about Munich and Galatasaray to stop ,ignorantly and to my shame i must now say ,years ago i have sung Munich chants as have many Leeds fans over the years if some of you care to admit it .Always look out for Turks carrying  knives is just a reversal of always look on the runway for ice which Leeds used to sing ,i am not proud of things i have sung in the past but at least i am ashamed of it and know  its wrong .the magnetude of lost  human life be it in Turkey,Munich or more impotantly Hellmand provence is more important than any football rivalry.time for us Leeds fans and Man u fans to grow up

  18. Davo

    the sad thing about the trouble is that leeds have been singing these vile songs for as long as i can remember but since the deaths in turkey leeds fans now think its wrong for mufc fans to give it back (if you give it out be prepared to take it )


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