« Previous | Main | Next »

"When Francis spoke everyone stopped and listened in silence"

Post categories:

Editor Jo Editor Jo | 13:51 UK time, Monday, 17 September 2012

Supporters of 'Justice for the 96' sing You'll Never Walk Alone during a vigil for the victims of the Hillsborough disaster outside Liverpool's St George's Hall.

This weekend all football fans had Hillsborough firmly in our minds. After the revelations during the week of a horrifying cover up by the authorities it was time to support the fans and the club so affected by events of 23 years ago.

So when a member of the production team - a Manchester United season ticket holder - arrived at the 606 studios before the show and said quietly "Jo, just so you know, some United fans were singing about Liverpool fans today, you might get some calls on it." My heart sank. We have all heard the songs and while they don't mention Hillsborough directly we all know what they are referring to.

There is no place for them at any time, in any ground but especially this of all weekends

And so the calls came but none more powerful than one from Manchester United season Francis. He had never called the show before but felt compelled to say how ashamed he was of fellow fans. A studio gallery is a busy place during a show - outside lines buzzing, calls coming in and being answered - but when Francis spoke everyone stopped and listened in silence. He was just a normal fan, but he was such a decent fan. The complete opposite of those who think it is okay to chant as they did on Saturday.

As Francis pointed out something happens to people in a football ground. They feel safe to say things they would never say out loud in any other public place. Although a few fans felt it was okay to tweet me defending their chants yesterday, should something should be done? Some say they should be banned from football grounds, and from Twitter. Let us know what you think.

Let's remember those who chanted on Saturday were in the minority but they should be found out and removed from our football family. As Francis said, as much as he can dislike Liverpool for 90 minutes during a game, this weekend he felt more in common with their fans than he does with those people who support his own club.

As powerful and memorable callers go on 606, Francis did football fans everywhere proud.

In order to see this content you need to have both Javascript enabled and Flash installed. Visit BBC Webwise for full instructions. If you're reading via RSS, you'll need to visit the blog to access this content.

Jo Tongue is 606 editor.



BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.