It’s all getting a bit heated isn’t it? Large scale disorder at railway stations, lines of police meeting trains coming in from away matches and ill-feeling on both sides of the apparent law.
I’ve read with interest the reports today about disorder on the trains back from Notts and trouble at the railway station too. I was at both places when the so-called issues happened and I’m not sure they’re being reported in the correct manner, in fact I’m damn sure they’re not.
After the game platform 6 was a bit rowdy, nothing more than I’d expect when a large group of football fans are about to embark on a journey home. Nobody was fighting though, nobody was vandalising anything and nobody was being deliberately intimidated. The Notts Police were spot on I thought, keeping a good distance from our lot and maintaining order. There must have been several hundred people waiting for the special and amongst that around fifty or so were chanting and singing. It seemed good-natured but eventually it turned the other way. A few started directing their songs at the police and one threw a can of beer in their direction.
Obviously that caused the police to advance and get edgy and rightly so. I’d say if you were in that group and know who threw the can it is your duty as a fan to report it, because that one incident sparked what followed.
For some reason the Lincolnshire Police are itching to confront our so-called hooligans and what better reason than someone essentially throwing an offensive weapon? That is what a full can of beer constitutes you know, an offensive weapon. Once that had been launched, sadly the police had every right to wade in all boots and dogs. With respect to them they didn’t, they closed in but there were no ugly scenes. Nobody ‘ran amok’.
I was on the 5.38 train to Lincoln, the eight-carriage special packed full of drunken, rowdy football fans that the media have tagged as ‘creating havoc’. I can’t speak for all eight carriages, but certainly in ours and the one in front and behind nobody ran amok. I didn’t see anything that caused me to get anxious or worry about what was going to happen. Remember, I’m effectively a neutral here. I’m not one of the lads singing and chanting on the station platform and I’m not a police officer either.
What I do know is disembarking in Lincoln was an unpleasant an inflammatory experience. I’ve read that incidents on the train prompted the response, but I’ve also read that some violence occurred between two fans on a later train. Either way, let me ask you a question. If you’re on a train from London and two people get involved in a fight, is the train met by a wall of police when it arrives in the station? No. Our train had women and children, old and young, and it was not nice being welcomed into our home city as trouble makers. We didn’t deserve it and nor did the fans singing at the railway station. What perhaps should have happened is the can-throwing idiot be pulled out by the Notts Police, but I imagine that would have been classed as inflammatory on their part.
The scenes on the High Street were not pleasant at all. The police were spoiling for a fight the second fans began to stream out of the station. I’m sure there will be those that argue against that, but what grounds can there possibly be for such a large presence when it is our own fans coming into our own city? The so-called disorder that happened last week was instigated by draconian methods employed in treating home fans as visiting supporters, and I felt the same happened on Saturday. Until we got off the train there had been no ‘running amok’, no ‘large scale disorder’ and certainly no wreaking havoc. Trust me, if there had been I’d happily come out on here and criticise those involved. I haven’t shied away from it before and I won’t again. Whoever threw the can of beer deserves punishing, but on the whole the fans were well-behaved.
I can’t say the same once the fans spilled onto the High Street, I think tempers are still raised after last weeks poor policing methods and that manifested itself into some ugly scenes. Another can was thrown and as far as I’m concerned that is another arrest, but I’m afraid both sides were at fault. The police had no genuine reason to treat Lincoln natives as criminals just for being on a train. What crime had 99% of fans committed on the train? If you were on it and felt threatened or terrified get in touch, I’ll happily redress the balance. What I expect is nobody will get in touch because the havoc wreaking did not happen.
Today there appears to be a clamour from the ‘popular’ media to condemn fans for their behaviour. Were these reporters on the scene as I was? No. Are they acting on press releases from the police? Probably. It shameful reporting aimed at demonizing a section of people who do not deserve it. Our own police force are creating monsters from nothing and our own media are reporting it as fact without anything solid to back it up. We’re having a problem created here out of nothing and it shows no signs of easing up. I fear for the next few games, especially the high-profile fixtures with Grimsby and Chesterfield.
I’m happy to stand corrected, do you have videos of anything other than the cans of beer being thown, which I’ve condemned? Do you have a first-hand account of Lincoln City fans wreaking havoc or causing trouble? If you do I’ll publish it, I’ll tell both sides of the story. However, unlike those currently hawking around stories of large-scale violence in order to entice clicks, I was there. I saw most of what happened and I’m comfortable writing the words I’ve written. Our fans were not hooligans when they go off that train, they’re being turned into them by some very poor and ill-advised policing. Do not make these young men criminal in their own town without good reason.
For context, one of my grandfathers was a high-ranking police officer in Lincoln. I am not a police hater and on the whole I support and condone any movement to eradicate proper football hooliganism. However, I will not stand by and idly watch as sections of our support are misrepresented to a wider audience. It’s not on.
Please share this article far and wide because the fake news should not be allowed to dominate the news feeds of Lincoln people.