27 Tem Prada Bn1556 Handbag In Black Calf Leather Lqbtx
My life as a rotter
Sixteen years ago this month I was sitting in a cafe in Cagliari in Sardinia, next to a couple Authentic Prada Handbags Online of English football fans who were following their side in the World Cup finals. One was in his forties, I suppose, the other quite a bit younger. Agatha Ruiz Dela Prada Outlet Online Neither of them was very happy.
“You’ve got an attitude problem, John,” said the older one, “a real attitude problem. I’m here on my holidays. My holidays! I want to see some culture. i want to see amphi-f***ing-theatres. All you want to do is go on a f***ing ruck.”
It was the way he split up the word “amphitheatre” that made me make a surreptitious note in my notebook so that is a verbatim account – give or take the asterisks – of what they said. The pair seemed to symbolise the two very different intentions of English World Cup supporters in Italy.
I was one of the dozens of reporters following the fans. While each paper obviously had their football correspondents and their sports fine writers, each paper also had a reporter whose job was to cover any “rucks” or riots that might occur as the team played through their qualifying matches in Sardinia and then moved on to the mainland. We were known to the sports reporters as the “rotters” – or, sometimes, in the case of the broadsheets, “the cads” – because we were essentially only really interested in bad news that had nothing to do with what was happening on the pitch: fights, arrests, hooliganism, mayhem.
There had been dire predictions of violence, most Authentic Prada Bags For Cheap of the fears centring on the English fans. “The barbarians are coming replica prada outlet,” announced the Corriere della Serra at the start of the tournament – and this was before Italy was interested in rugby. English fans arriving off Authentic Prada Handbags Online the ferry in Sardinia – lovely island, by the way, although I never saw an amphitheatre – were greeted by alsatians straining at the leash and heavily-armed riot police. Helicopters hovered in the air.
Every night in Cagliari, there would be a bit of a ritual. Someone would throw a glass or a bottle, the police would arrive, a small crowd would gather, there would be a minor scuffle and perhaps an arrest or two. Nothing ever got completely out of hand and the incident which led to the most arrests was far away in Rimini – miles from where almost all of the media were.
The fans were a mixture of genial, easy-going souls, some big drinkers – I remember one called the Beer Monster, what’s he doing now, I wonder? – and a number of the “No surrender to the IRA”/”Rule Britannia!” persuasion who complained about the Italians talking in their “spic language” to wind them up. Most were not really that interested in fighting.
Up on the mainland were the Scottish fans – ah, those were the glorious days when Scotland appeared quite regularly at such events – and they were terrifically well-behaved and popular with the locals, having completely rebranded themselves Authentic Prada Americas Cup Sneakers as cheery jocks rather Bicester Village Prada Opening than the Agatha Ruiz Dela Prada Online Store Agatha Ruiz Dela Prada E Shop “ladies from hell” that they were in the seventies, when they would terrify Authentic Prada Leather Handbags the resident near Wembley every two years.
The great catastrophic riots never happened in Italy. In Authentic Prada Online Shop fact, I met Sardinians who said that they preferred the English fans to Milanese tourists who spent all their time complaining that the boats were late or there was nothing to buy in the shops. And there were even some love affairs between fans and local girls – or so my old cuttings suggest.
Who knows what will happen this time. The rotters and cads will be there. So, too, will be some fans wanting nothing more than a holiday and some fans who fancy a ruck. Not many amphitheatres in Frankfurt, though.