By ClaretandHugh FB Group member Carol Combes
Over weeks and months I’ve seen the expression ‘plastic fans’ pop up with monotonous regularity on Twitter as a term of insult for those who for whatever reason may not be able to attend games at the Boleyn.
It’s a relatively new expression, which can also – and justifiably – be used for those who claim to support more than one club, (you mean there is ANOTHER club worth supporting?!), plus ‘new’ fans, who are accused of jumping on a successful bandwagon.
Maybe I spend too much time on Twitter and Facebook but this subject crops up a bit too often to be ignored and I see the expression thrown as an insult by someone who attended a game at someone who didn’t.
So when does the term apply? Do you have to be a ST holder to be a ‘real fan’? Do you have to go to every home AND away game? Do you have to live in the East End?
When I lived in London, during the 70’s/80’s, I spent many Saturday mornings queuing for hours (in all weathers), at the home of football, hoping for tickets.
No matter what time we got there though, we were always beaten by two ‘older ladies’, weighed down with their badge-covered scarves!
Maybe someone can tell me – was I a ‘real’ fan then, but I’m now a ‘plastic fan’ because I live further away, and cannot afford to go?
Do we call fans who live further than five miles from the ground, ‘plastic,’? Is our own Mr Gold, brought up within a stone’s throw of the ground now plastic because he lives elsewhere!
I think to aim that term at someone is a sign of arrogance. Geographical distance is NOT a measure of which person loves West Ham more, or who has the right opinion.
With the quality of many ‘streams’, fans NOT there can have a better view of the game! No, it will never replace the atmosphere of being there, but those people are still avid fans!
We need to welcome ALL West Ham fans, whether from London, or a different country. Without ‘new’ fans, our club will just fade away, and the gate numbers gradually drop. We should be PROUD that people are interested in, and love OUR club.
WE, the fans, are the oxygen of our club, and we need to expand to survive! Let’s stop using the term ‘plastic fan’ as an insult to people with whom we may disagree and be grateful that we have so many passionate fans-regardless of how many games they can attend, or where they live!
We all support THE best football club in the world – lets support each other a bit more eh!
COME ON YOU IRONS!
Follow Carol on Twitter @GSDlady2