Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Thugs on Uxbridge Road

I've just come back from what was in footballing terms an intensley irritating game. A pitch that was too heavily watered meant QPR players, who were for large parts of the game camped around the Millwall goal kept falling over while the referee kept giving decisions that the large replay screen kept helpfully demonstrating were wrong. He must have wished someone would turn that screen off!

But what marked the occasion for me was the experience of first seeing what seemed like a pretty rowdy group of drunk Millwall fans being penned in to a corner of Uxbridge Road before things got out of hand with the police raising their batons as a sign of what was to come if they didn't calm down.

I watched this from just outside the Conningham Arms and was about to walk on to the game when I realised we too had been penned in. Right outside a pub. So what do you think the reaction of the fans was? That's right we were penned in for 40 mins with the increasingly frustrated fans having a ready supply of alcohol with which to lubricate their throats through which some of the more moronic variety started hurling insults and threats at the police.

I even saw one idiot try to crawl underneath the police van that was being used to keep us in!

The police themselves have obviously got a lot of training in non-reaction because some of what was thrown at them was pretty disgusting. That's fine I guess whan its just words but eventually, 10 minutes after kick off had already passed there were various surges at the police lines with attendant throwing of beer bottles and plastic glasses that had thankfully replaced the glass variety. (then why serve bottles too?)

At this point the dreaded TSG (Tactical Support Group - heavies) turned up with big red numbers on their helmets. These are the people that end up in court when they hit people and kill them, as the family of Ian Tomlinson know to their cost. Thankfully they were here to let us out and in fairness as they did they explained that there had been violence outside the ground and that accounted for why we'd been kept inside.

Violence does follow Millwall around and one police officer told me they actually have a unit dedicated to that football club. Good to know our taxes are being used for that. But I was actually more ashamed of our home grown idiot fraternity this evening, who seemed to match the morons of Millwall word for word. Not a pretty sight.

As I type this vans with sirens and lights are speeding down the road toward the ground which was ringed by police, dogs and vans. Shields and batons at the ready. It's like a very unwelcome throwback to the 1970s ..

I'm just glad I could walk home unmolested afterwards!


  1. Certainly there have been endless sirens screeming up Wood Lane tonight after 10pm. the footy fans do nothing to create a decent image. There were three urinating in the bushes opposite my house as I arrived home this evening at 7pm, after I had crawled along the A40 at snails pace due to the works at the northern roundabout. No alternative route as there are also works at Harrow Rd with one way lights. Do they never consider other wroks and the impact on alternative routes which are also being worked on. TFL shame on you!

  2. 90+% of the cost of policing football should be paid by the clubs, and therefore, the fans. Less trouble, lower priced tickets.
    I'm a little surprised the taxpayer has to fund this waste of time and money, at least once a week all over the UK.

    That's the UK, no spare cash for medical treatment, but plenty for doubtful causes.

  3. The clubs pay a high price for policing which covers the cost of the special groups that are attatched to clubs like Millwall. I wasn't there last night but I wouldn't mind betting the police are better at this 30 years on.