Football is a great game. We love it for a number of reasons. The beauty of a sublime move involving multiple passes, and great movement, rates high on the list. A sweet strike nestling in the back of the net is also up there. Then there’s the atmosphere of a noisy crowd sending shivers down your spine. There are so many things that have us all hooked. Undoubtedly one of these facets is fan banter. Those quick witted chants that someone comes up with on the spur of a moment are both amusing and admirable for their speed of thought. There are quite a few that spring to mind from the games I’ve seen with our brilliant fans. The example I’ll recount comes from around 1985 at Old Trafford. We lost the game 5-1. When the Manchester United 5th went in there were ironic cheers from the West Ham faithful before real cheers when our consolation goal went in.
I could be wrong but I think it was Jesper Olson who was asked, by Ron Atkinson, to go and warm up. After some light jogging he started his stretches – leaning to either side. Little did the Manchester United winger know that he would be accompanied by a chorus of ‘Oops-upside your head’ from the Hammers fans. I was actually stood in the Stretford End on that occasion but it didn’t stop me, or those around me, laughing out loud.