Sunday, June 18, 2023

Some colorful details in this article about passionate hooligan support for very low level English soccer teams

From a long article focusing on why hooligan arrests have skyrocketed since the pandemic:

Outside a pub named The Feathered Fish stirred a few hundred young lads decked out in CP Goggle jackets, tapered trackies and ‘Meet Me at McDonald’s’ haircuts


They were here for Cheltenham Town’s match against Gloucestershire rivals Forest Green Rovers – a fixture known to locals as ‘El Glosico’


The Gloucestershire derby is the perfect accelerator for this phenomenon: a local grudge match that brings ancient village rivalries in line with the wider British culture war. Because while Cheltenham Town are a standard lower-league football team run by a local solicitor and featuring a squad of itinerant journeymen, Forest Green are a very different prospect. Owned by wind-farm magnate Dale Vince – a former New Age traveller in the Spiral Tribe mould who once sported a Richie Hawtin haircut – the club boasts of being the world’s first vegan football club, as well as the first carbon-neutral football club. Indeed, there are no animal products on sale at their stadium, The New Lawn, which has solar panels on its roof and a pitch that recycles water. (Work on a new stadium designed by Zaha Hadid is underway.) Among Cheltenham fans, this is no cause for solidarity, with one terrace chant referring to Vince as a “sad vegan bastard”.


“Gloucestershire’s quite an affluent part of the country, but Cheltenham Town has stayed true to its roots… whereas Forest Green has always been inherently middle class. I mean, look at veganism. When’s the last time you saw a working class vegan?”

(Various theories on why they're called "Meet Met at McDonald's" haircuts, btw.) (The goggle jackets have hoods with built-in goggles.) (Here's an SI article asking if Forest Green can "save the planet")