GLF 29: You Must Be a Closet...

Last updated : 14 August 2017 By GLF

You Must Be a Closet...



This is a question usually followed by the words Hun or Tim! It’s a question I am constantly being asked by colleagues and friends who support either Rangers or Celtic. It really irritates me as it is almost impossible to get through to them that I AM a Motherwell supporter and do not support any other Scottish club. It is also a myth that everybody in Scotland must support one or the other, this is maintained, indeed fuelled, the Scottish media in their coverage of the sport. This is best typified by every article on Gary McAllister referring to him as a boyhood Rangers fan when indeed we know he is a Well fan, as confirmed on GLF #26.

During the run up to any Old Firm derby I am constantly being asked who I think I will win, there are usually three options which each get a standard response;

Rangers to win – this just confirms that as a protestant that I am truly a closet Hun
Celtic to win – I am just saying that to prove that I am not a closet Hun
Don’t care – well I must as everybody must support one of them!!

As you can see it’s a no win situation in the sad culture that we inhabit in West Central Scotland. I now get to the stage where I don’t answer the question, although if pushed this season I would prefer Celtic to win to put an end to all this 10 in a row nonsense and leave both of them on 9.

In other games that they play I may choose one or other to win if they are playing a team where it is likely to affect our League position, e.g when Rangers played Hibs at Ibrox prior to the Cup Semis I really wanted them to win, although in truth I really wanted Hibs to lose which is the by product of a Rangers win (hope you followed that!).

The other question which gets on my nerves is the one that usually precedes us playing one or other of the Old Firm, e.g. when we played Rangers at Fir Park in March – it goes along the lines of – “you’ll do us a favour by beating that mob on Saturday”. I usually respond by saying that if we beat them its because we need the three points for our own reasons not because we are doing wither of them a favour. OR they wouldn’t need favours from other teams if they were capable of doing the job on their own. I also love to beat either of them to see the smugness being wiped of the supporters and turn to anger, rage etc. After the win in March against Rangers I was delighted as it put us 9 points in front of Hibs and probably secured our Premier place – the significance of this went right over the heads of Rangers fans who thought we over celebrated a win over them. They could only see the result from one point of view and that was that the result had dented their league hopes – a typically blinkered approach.

Despite most people who know me knowing that I am a Season Ticket holder, attend almost all away games, edit a fanzine, write for the programme etc – they think I can’t possibly only support Motherwell. Although I once worked beside a Celtic fan who after a year confessed that he finally believed that I had no hidden agenda and was as much a fan of my team as he was of his.

There needs to more of us who fight against this type of culture by flying the flag for their local club and proving that there is life outside of the big two – free from bigotry and hatred.

Graham Barnstaple

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