Leeds are the Damned United, but Man U Takes Award for Sickest Fans – by Rob Atkinson


In the wake of the tragic helicopter crash at Leicester’s King Power Stadium last night, and with the sad likelihood that we shall shortly hear confirmation of lives lost, there has been much talk of the phenomenon of the “Football Family”, as fans of many clubs have rallied around to support Leicester City Football Club and its supporters at a very dark time.

All that is as it should be, and a respectful, reverent reaction has been almost universal. I say “almost”, because there are generally a few degraded exceptions, and those exceptions are almost always to be found among the usual suspects representing football’s least lovable “fans”. It will surprise few who are aware of their history that, on this occasion, it’s an identifiable group of Manchester United fans, the producers of a toilet roll of a fanzine known as Red Issue, who have plumbed the depths of poor taste as only they can.

This purulent rag has form going back years for the penning and publication of articles and “jokes” that take the breath away with their sheer, savage detestability. Emboldened by that curiously puzzling Manc sense of entitlement and by unjustified self-righteousness, they have disgraced themselves many a time, heaping shame and derision upon a club rarely short of that commodity. I well recall a photograph they published while Eric Cantona was at Leeds, of the Frenchman in the bath with his young daughter, accompanying the image with a caption designed to encourage their leering readers to conclude that Cantona was a paedophile. There was also a chant sung at Man U matches expressly accusing Arsène Wenger of the self same thing. In brief, these are awful, awful people with no redeeming qualities.

But they’ve outdone themselves this time, as can be seen from the disgusting tweets reproduced above, in the immediate aftermath of a football tragedy that has shocked the whole sporting world. It takes a person with his soul deeply rooted in the foulest slime at the bottom of the sewer to even think of such a thing, let alone share it with the world. But that’s Red Issue for you – the lowest of the low, even in the context of Man U fans.

But of course, it’s Leeds who are dubbed the Damned United, which is a sad indictment of people’s judgement for you. Luckily, although Leeds fans do not find halos sitting easily atop their heads, we’re in a different category entirely from the kind of filth they attract in Salford. Even Millwall fans have more to recommend them, having contributed generously to a fighting fund for young cancer sufferer Toby Nye. There is no such softer side to the arrogant, entitled and thoroughly disgusting fans of Manchester’s second club.

If I sound angry, it’s because I am. I’m sick of the media fawning that surrounds a club which embodies everything bad about the game. I’m sick of the way everyone panders to them because of their commercial clout, ignoring the many foul and detestable aspects of a club and set of supporters who feel they can do and say what they like. The media seeks to protect its own interests and preserve lucrative markets, which means they will always go easy on Man U.

As I write, they lead Everton courtesy of yet another blatantly unfair penalty award, reminding me that my own United have now gone 53 league games without even obvious penalties being given. That sums up the disparity of treatment, and maybe it’s an insight into why Man U fans such as the sickos behind Red Issue feel that they have the right to continue outraging any sense of decency.

This year, as every other year, Man U fans will collectively take out an onion to wallow in commercially advantageous grief over the Munich air crash sixty years ago. They will demand respect and empathy, despite the fact that – as you can see above – they have none for anybody else. But they think they’re a special case, and that they should be treated as such. Most of them will never have heard of AC Torino‘s even more tragic and devastating Superga crash, about which I’ve written before. Add “blinkered” to “disgusting”, then.

Man U fans feel that they are a breed apart. And they really are. Just not in the way they would like to think.

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19 responses to “Leeds are the Damned United, but Man U Takes Award for Sickest Fans – by Rob Atkinson

  1. Point of information – the crash at Superga in Italy wiped out the great postwar team of Torino, not Roma.

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  2. I was once chased by Man U fans while on crutches. Class

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    • Mr Rearguard

      Yeah I was alone on the train travelling from London to get to see Leeds play an FA cup 5th round tie at that theater of crap circa 1995. I was only a skinny puny harmless teenager and the train was packed with Cockney Red filth. One of them, old enough to be my father spotted my colours under my coat. A minute later about 10 or 12 chased me until I found sanctuary in the bog. Where I stayed and drank my 6 cans of Guinness.

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  3. Robert Parr

    Rob, they are untouchable and always have been. The media lives off them when they are playing well and when they are playing rubbish, as they have been recently. The radio and TV analysis goes on and on, trying to understand why they’re underperforming and conducting a continuing in- depth analysis of their manager’s Psyche.
    I now record the football highlights and fast forward the child – like analysis, as being a Leeds fan, I don’t need telling how the game’s played!

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  4. When it first came out about the incident yesterday I saw a Newcastle fan say he wished it could happen to Mike Ashley. Totally unacceptable on every level. Whether you’re a football fan or not it’s someones family that was on the helicopter.

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  5. Simon Barker

    Couldn’t agree more with your sentiments Rob. Truly abhorrent.

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  6. Let’s just keep this in perspective, It’s not all of them.

    I take your point though if it was from a Leeds fan, the media would be all over it and condemning all Leeds fans, the whole City, and every living creature residing there.

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    • It’s definitely not all of them, I’m citing the dregs here. Their dregs are simply worse than most, if not all, other clubs. And of the rest of them, the non-dregs, there’s some pretty arrogant and unpleasant types in there.

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      • MH Leeds

        Reading your article above regarding Millwall fans, I recall with admiration the Millwall fan who took on the terrorists at London Bridge. Unfortunately got stabbed, but he took them on unarmed.What courage.

        And I don’t usually have a good word to say about them.

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      • Neither do I, but credit where it’s due – the Toby Nye donations were a wonderful gesture.

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  7. Manston White

    I remember a small proportion of Liecester fans flying a Galatasary flag during a game. That annoyed me but interestingly, it also annoyed a lot of Leicester fans. I respect Leicester and feel sorry for such a big loss. RIP

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  8. Hard to believe Scum are worse than Millwall but i acknowledge their help with Toby, fair play. This is a Manc cancer installed from Ferguson’s arrogance.

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  9. Sadly Rob,these scum are scattered through all walks of life. What really annoys me is the deafening silence that eminates from the decent, fair minded compassionate fans of clubs who should be descending en mass into these cretins and exposing them for what they are. Directors, managers, coaches and owners should have no hesitation in making it absolutely clear these virmin have no place to hide.
    I don’t hate Man Utd, I am just fed up with the attitude of the press, media and misguided so called football pundits who think this team are somehow the ambassadors of Britain, the Royal Family of football and how devastating it is when they get dumped out of the Champions League or have a bad run of games.
    Nothing was ever perfect , but we never used to be like this. Society is changing at an alarming rate Rob, and it’s a bit frightening.

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  10. This should be put on national TV catch and put the sickos behind bars for such vile vulgar and sick article .They should be banned from the club and fined excessively.I am a football fan of over 40 years not a Leicester fan but my heart goes out to all at Leicester City football club.

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