Football

What football means to the people…

This is a crosspost by Anthony Teesdale of Bloke and Coke

The first clip is – though I’m guessing here – from an awards ceremony for the Greek club, PAOK of Thessaloniki. It’s special for a number of reasons. Firstly, the song, obviously some age-old supporters’ anthem, is fantastic, a supremely catchy tune with just a few lines that everyone knows. Then there’s its relentless repetition. Sung over and over again by everyone from old grannies and granddads to chunky lads on the top balcony who are obviously a bit useful with a flare and a flick-knife, the song buries itself in your consciousness, refusing to let go until you find yourself humming it on the bus, in meetings at work, in bed even. And finally, near the end, while the sparkly Eurovision-style presenters try and bring some order back to the ceremony, you’ll notice – and I can’t believe I’ve witnessed this – both a nervous-looking, tinpot army general, wondering whether to break it all up or not and A GREEK ORTHODOX PRIEST taking pictures of the scene with his mobile phone. Really, does it get any better?

The two following clips are in stadiums. The first comes from the Argentine team San Lorenzo, whose supporters have taken the club anthem/bouncing interface to a whole, new, undreamt-of level, while the second is of BIll Shankly’s lap of honour at Anfield following Liverpool’s League Championship triumph of 1973. Note in this clip how Shanks has his photo taken by several snappers, each of whom is a replica of the doomed photographer in The Omen. Also, look out for the none-more-’70s pitch invader, who’s resplendent in flares and the absolute key item of any football fan from that decade – the butcher’s coat. Fantastic.

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