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Wednesday 29th May 2024

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Aberdeen fans aren’t bigots.. they dislike everyone equally

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A COUPLE of days. That’s all it took for me to discover the underlying and sinister prejudice lurking below the surface in Aberdeen.


Just over six years ago, I landed in the Granite City after previously working (well,masquerading) in England and Wales.


When moving to a new area there are two main priorities – finding a decent local and joining a Sunday league football team.


The former wasn’t difficult. Pubs aren’t exactly hard to find in this neck of the world and it was a skoosh getting fixed up for a side too.


Turns out goalies, even hopeless ones, are hard to come by in every corner of the UK.


I should have known I would be targeted. The hair colour, while I would describe it as Tahitian sunset, other, simpler folk call it ginger.


Then there was my vaguely Irish sounding name.


Only my barnet, or being called Mick, wasn’t mentioned. Not a peep. No one asked what school I had gone to, or tried to give me a funny handshake.


But, jeez, did I get pelters.


“Weegie B*****,” was the most popular term of endearment – and that was just from my gaffer and teammates.


I took it on the chin (aye okay, chins) but I got more stick in Aberdeen that I got as a Jock in England or Wales.


But, was it about religion, or race? Not a chance. Never in a million years.


Too many folk were far too quick to play the anti-Irish, anti-Catholic card after Celtic boss Neil Lennon was abused at Tynecastle at the weekend.


It was opportunism from people who should have known better. Guys like politician George Galloway, who pedalled this nonsense and should know fine well what Aberdeen is like.


Religion? Do me a favour. Aberdeen has dozens of churches that are packed out every weekend.


But it’s got nowt to do with the Almighty. Most of the places of worship in the city have been turned into nightclubs and casinos and the rest are now fancy flats.


Aberdonians couldn’t care less about religion. Money is God up here.


Do they hate Weegies? Some of them probably do but only in a cartoon way because once you get past that cold, grumpy exterior, Aberdonians warm up to just about anyone.


They might be slow to go to the bar, and their wit may be drier than the Dalai Lama’s drinks cabinet, but once you befriend an Aberdonian, they’re your pal for life.


Even if you’re a Weegie.


Do Aberdeen fans hate Celtic and Lennon? Yeah, no doubt. Rangers? Blimey, don’t go there. What about Dundee United? Oh yeah. And Hearts, Inverness, Dundee, Kilmarnock.


Hibs? Let’s just call it a casual dislike...


There’s a pattern here: Football fans hate rivals. Shocker. Who’d a thunk it?


I must have missed the unsegregated happy-clappy love-dovey sections at the rest of the grounds in the country.


Of course there is a rogue element in the Dons support. Every club has them.


Big occasions and a monster carry out are like magnets to the muppets.


But there’s hardly been a peep said all week about the two St Johnstone fans who stormed in to Derek McInnes’ dugout at Tynecastle.


If it had been Lennon in that position, Martial law would have been declared.


That’s not letting the allegedly disgraceful behaviour of some of the Dons at Tynecastle off the hook. Far from it.


But let’s just wait and see what the police and SPFL find out. Let’s find the guy who can hit a target with his gob from 20ft, which is revolting but still quite a skill in itself.


In the meantime, try not to forget the 12,000 other Dons fans who provided an atmosphere seldom seen in Scotland and let’s not brand everyone thugs before anything has been proven.


And for God’s sake, leave religion out of it.

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Another good article from the Evening Times:


Derek Rae


I HAVE to start my column this week with a disclaimer:


I am an Aberdonian. I grew up in the Granite City and I have monitored the highs and the lows experienced by the team in red throughout my life.


It is impossible for anyone from the north-east of Scotland not to have an affinity with the Pittodrie club.


I was on Bundesliga duty with BT Sport on Saturday and only caught up with how Aberdeen had fared in the League Cup semi- final afterwards.


I was pleased to hear Derek McInnes's side had beaten St Johnstone 4-0 at Tynecastle.


Not long afterwards, though, the story about Neil Lennon being abused by Aberdeen fans emerged through his agent.


I immediately posted a Tweet saying that any right-minded football fan would condemn that behaviour. And I also added that I hoped the thuggish actions of a small minority of so-called Dons fans would not be used to suit the political agenda of some.


But I think the response to this sad incident has shown us that it is high time that we all started forming our own opinions.


For I am afraid that far too many people are being led down the garden path by agitators in the blogosphere.


Now, there are a lot of good writers online. But I get very tired of reading people who only have one outlook on life. And it troubles me greatly that many people seem to want to believe anything they publish.


The facts of the matter, as Neil himself confirmed when he spoke to the media after the game with St Mirren on Sunday, are as follows.


What happened in the capital was concerning and unpleasant.


But he was not the victim of sectarian abuse.


I thought Neil was very skilful in his choice of words. He did not inflame what was a delicate situation.


Does the west of Scotland have a sectarianism problem? Undoubtedly. Is it sectarian every time Neil Lennon gets abused? Of course not.


Was what happened at the weekend loutish, thuggish and unacceptable? Absolutely. Was it sectarian? No, it was not


I grew up being told the story of the little boy who cried wolf. The reaction to events at the weekend reminded me of that fable.


Yes, there is sectarianism in this country. But the last time I checked it was not a main issue for any political party in either the Scottish or British elections.


I grew up in Aberdeen and can say unequivocally that sectarianism is not a part of everyday life in the city. I know for a fact the people of the city are furious about this.


It is extremely dangerous for people to inflame things regardless of the facts just to suit their own political agendas.


It is not at all helpful in the battle against this problem.



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Cheers, delighted I've made the list of people you tolerate  ;)


Good follow up tonight


THERE'S something brilliantly bonkers about accusing an entire city of hating just about everyone and they take it as a compliment.


Good on you Aberdeen fans.


Not that they need another Glaswegian journalist (or Weegie b****** as we're known in these parts)  telling them what they already know, but sometimes it doesn’t hurt seeing one telling the rest of the country.


I might have got at it like a blind man with a hammer but my take on the Neil Lennon story somehow hit the nail on the head with a section of Dons punters.


It’s amazing what lengths an Aberdeen-based Weegie will go to in a bid to get one of the locals to buy him a pint.


Mind you, I’m still waiting...

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