Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Bottom trumpet player provokes QPR crowd trouble

A Moroccan with a penchant for playing a trumpet with his bottom is being sought after crowd trouble at Saturday's game at Loftus Road in which QPR beat Leicester City 1-0. The game itself was a thrilling, high blood pressure inducing encounter in which the Rs sneaked a win against tough opposition - so imagine the scenes described by this London-based but Leicester supporting reader who writes in to describe an incident that nearly provoked the intervention of the Metropolitan Police:


Sitting in the corner of the away supporters’ end at any football ground is not for the faint-hearted.

One general rule of being an away supporter is that you’re a trifle late with buying your match tickets when there are few seats left on sale you tend to get plonked in the far corner and high up in the stand. Depending on your personal outlook this is either an inconvenience or a bonus: for you end up sitting under the crossfire of banter between opposing blocks of supporters. And so it was last Saturday, as a Leicester City fan, when I took up my seat in Block Y2 of QPR’s School End stand.

To begin with, there was little more than the usual rhyming couplets and barely witty insults going to and fro, traded with half-hearted gusto. You know the form: the “Who are ya!?” and “You're s**t and you know you are". Although, one Leicester chant informed the other lot: "You're being sold in the morning" (in response to media reports that QPR's Chairman Bernie Ecclestone had put the club up for sale). However, what made this fixture a little spicier was the presence of a lone eccentric Moroccan supporter on the QPR side. I assume his nationality since he was i) a tanned chap, ii) waving a Moroccan flag and iii) blowing a trumpet every time QPR’s Adel Taraabt got the ball and began teasing the Leicester defence with his mazy dribbles.

So, a little cosmopolitan colour at Britain’s football grounds. How nice. But there something else about this little chap that seemed to get on the away end’s nerves. He was short, stocky, wearing an outlandish blue sombrero hat, childishly waving his traditional football rattle with one hand and holding the said trumpet in the other. Each time QPR pressed he delighted in flashing a big toothy grin towards the away end and on receiving some token abuse in return he began making inadvisable gestures.

One little Moroccan versus a couple of hundred of Leicester’s finest working class. As the match wound on the trumpet blower was undeterred and kept up his repertoire of fanfares and gestures, getting ever bolder. Steadily, the temperature and noise climbed higher as both teams played end to end football and the QPR goalie Paddy Kenny somehow held out the blue Leicester tide that was threatening to swamp the Championship leaders.

Until finally, two minutes from the end, the QPR sub Ishmael Miller comes on and promptly thumps the winner. Three quarters of Loftus Road goes amok with relief. Cue our little Morrocan who stands up, turn his back to the away end, places his trumpet on his arse and wiggles it in their direction. The away end is not pleased. The response doesn’t feature witty rhyming puns about QPR and north African culture. If only. We’re dealing here with the anglo-Saxon vernacular at its most basic: “YOU F***ING C**T” repeated over and again by ranks of angry, purple-faced male 40-somethings. Honestly, you’d think it was just a game; turn a blind eye old chap, let the others have their fun, if they must. But the burly orange-bibbed stewards lurking at the back all afternoon know the score, and make their way down the stairwells to display some belated authority, somewhat comically undermined by their pale and quivering faces. (Just what is it that the police actually do on match days??)

So, there we have it. Just another away game. Until the next one. A small part of me admits to a sneaking admiration for the little Moroccan imp who upped the ante at this one. Take care, mate. And watch out for yourself.

So who was the sombrero wearing bottom trumpeteer? And should we applaud or condemn his actions? The good people of Shepherd's Bush have always been an interesting mix!


  1. He's called Ben and he's not Moroccan from memory. Nice bloke when you meet him.

    There's always a wind-up merchant at every game you go to as an away fan. Ben is I'd imagine one of the funnier ones. There's clearly no threat from him, unlike some of the more unsavoury types I've seen.

    Think your headline is a touch OTT. Also, the Leicester fans should calm down a bit. At worst I'd imagine Ben is annoying.

  2. As the said 'London-based Leicester fan' who wrote the above report for Chris, I'd have to agree that 'Ben' was more funny/annoying than threatening - although a tad naive perhaps in persistently pushing the boundaries. To put it into context there were around 2,000 - 3,000 Leicester fans, of which, I'd say a hundred fans at times seemed to pay Ben more heed than the match itself. I guess every away contingent has those who lose perspective at times. For the rest of us, it was a good match played in good spirit AND YOU GOT LUCKY!!

  3. Cheers Stephen. If I can find an email for Ben I'll let him know about this piece and comments.

    We did get lucky - Leicester the best team we've faced at Loftus Road this season. Very impressed with King and your centre-back who gave Taraabt nothing all game (Bruma?).