'Flying bottles are not my idea of sporting fun'
Mexican wave at Twickenham. Getty Images
Olympic organisers have a big lesson to learn from some some chaotic crowd scenes which I experienced at Twickenham at the opening of the new domestic rugby season at the weekend.
Having stopped people from taking drink cans into the stadium, presumably because they could be used as missiles, the bars still sold plastic bottles of coke and cider to spectators.
Sounds harmless? Well, far from it when the bottles are flying into your face and landing on your children from a great height.
In the second half of the Wasps-Harlequins game, the crowd got carried away with a Mexican wave and starting throwing anything they could find into the air; bottles, cups and cardboard beer glass holders.
My friends and I were forced to get our children (all junior rugby players) out of the stadium in the middle of the half because the rubbish being thrown down on us was dangerous. One cider bottle hit me in the face. Stewards and police were powerless to stop it.
It was hardly a great advert for Aviva's new sponsorship of Premiership rugby and I won't be heading back to Twickenham in a hurry.
In fact, I plan to return the tickets I have for the forthcoming autumn internationals to my rugby club because I can't risk taking my son to the game and getting injured. I also prefer to watch matches until the end, rather than having to leave early because it is too dangerous to stay.
The 2012 Olympics have to learn from this. Given that Coca-Cola is an Olympic sponsor and its products will be sold in the Olympic Park, it is crucial that bottles are not sold at all to spectators. Just pour the drinks into a plastic cup. It's hardly rocket science.
There is nothing wrong with a Mexican wave (even though I hate them) and spectators can, of course, get excited if they want, as we all hope they will during the Games. But stadium organisers have to think seriously about what they sell to spectators because a bit of fun can soon turn nasty.