Xtratime Community banner

1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Midfield Enforcer
Joined
·
1,683 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Interesting article on tonight's historical match...

http://soccernet.espn.go.com/feature?id=325744&cc=5901

At approx 4pm on Tuesday afternoon, Irish League Champions Linfield FC will begin the short 70 mile drive from South Belfast to Northern Ireland's second town to play a friendly against Derry City.

Up until 1969 this would have been a journey of little consequence - one that both teams made every season as they competed against each other in Irish League competitions. However - 1969 was to be no normal year for Northern Ireland. It was the year in which the Civil Rights campaign against the province's government disintegrated into communal violence, ushering-in 30 years of 'The Troubles'.

It was also to be the last time Linfield played a match in Derry's Brandywell Stadium, leading to the 36 year creation of one of football's great taboos. To properly understand how this situation arose requires an insight into the background of both clubs.

Linfield FC (a.k.a. The Blues) are considered Northern Ireland's equivalent to Glasgow Rangers. The club plays in red, white and blue, is based in a working-class Protestant area of South Belfast, has a staunchly Protestant support base, and has historically been the best supported and most successful club in the Irish League.

In the past the team also had an unofficial 'policy' of not signing Catholic players for a number of years, and occasionally has problems with sectarian chanting from a small but vocal section of their support. To its credit, the club has taken steps to distance itself from its perceived sectarian past and to deal firmly with bigotry amongst its supporters, but the team remains essentially a bastion of Protestant Ulster.

Derry City FC are in many ways the polar opposite to the Belfast Blues. The club is based in a city with a large Catholic majority population - surrounded on three-sides by the border with the Irish Republic, and geographically cut-off from the rest of Northern Ireland by a large river.

Unlike Linfield, Derry City could not fairly be accused of having a sectarian past - managing to attract both Catholic and Protestant supporters throughout its days in the Irish League and beyond.

However - the location of the club's Brandywell stadium in a staunchly Republican area of the city meant that as Northern Ireland slid into civil chaos in the late 1960s, the club became overwhelmingly identified with the Catholic community. This identity has been reinforced over time - particularly as the club joined the Republic of Ireland's football league structure in 1985.

The events that lead to the cessation of Linfield's competitive games at the Brandywell are understandably linked to the out-break of The Troubles in 1969. As Northern Ireland slowly descended into near civil-war in the late 60s, football matches between certain Catholic and Protestant teams began to echo the wider trouble of the time.

The Brandywell fell prey to this in January 1969, when a Linfield away match was marred by crowd trouble. The months that followed this event saw the general political situation decline into full-scale civil disorder at locations across the province, including areas in the vicinity of the Brandywell Stadium.

Linfield declared that they would no longer travel to the city for matches on security grounds, and for the next 2 seasons Derry were instead forced to play 'home' games against them at Linfield's Windsor Park stadium in a staunchly Protestant area of Belfast. It was soon to transpire that the 25th January 1969 game would be the last time Linfield would play at the Brandywell stadium for over 36 years.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
526 Posts
Should be an interesting game alright.
Pity Belfast Celtic still aren't around these days :cry:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,433 Posts
Bohemian Celtic said:
Should be an interesting game alright.
Pity Belfast Celtic still aren't around these days :cry:

they still around just way ,way ,way down the leagues. Belfast Celtic wer reborn a few years ago
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
526 Posts
I heard about them thinking about starting again a few years ago but never heard anything since that.
Do they still use the same logo and all?

www.belfastceltic.net
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,433 Posts
im not sure but the kit colour is still the same and i think the play at the same place as the PSNI team lol.
 

·
Midfield Enforcer
Joined
·
1,683 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Reports of some crowd trouble after the match

http://soccernet.espn.go.com/headlinenews?id=325847&cc=5901

Republican youths stoned buses carrying Protestant football supporters through Londonderry on Tuesday. Windows in a convoy of buses carrying fans away from a friendly between Belfast-based Linfield and Derry City were shattered.

There were no reports of injuries but shocked children screamed in terror as glass shattered around them. It was the first time in 35 years that Linfield had travelled to Derry City's Brandywell ground in the Republic Bogside area of Londonderry.

There had been fears of trouble but all seemed to be going well until moments after the match. After making their escape, Trevor Roulston, chairman of the Linfield Supporters' Club said: 'That was a total disgrace, we were assured that we would be in and out of the Brandywell and the security would be good.

'There were children and young girls on those buses. I am not blaming Derry City officials and I am not blaming Derry City fans.

'It was the thugs out on the streets. I am very, very disappointed, it was a great sporting occasion and the atmosphere in the ground had been very good.'
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
526 Posts
Yes i heard that too, its a shame that a small section of idiots can ruin the day. What i don't agree with is how those that threw the stones have been labelled by various media organisations as 'Republican thugs/youths'.

They were nothing but local kids/youths who had no intent on going to watch the game and were only there to cause trouble
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,433 Posts
Bohemian Celtic said:
Yes i heard that too, its a shame that a small section of idiots can ruin the day. What i don't agree with is how those that threw the stones have been labelled by various media organisations as 'Republican thugs/youths'.

They were nothing but local kids/youths who had no intent on going to watch the game and were only there to cause trouble

of course they wer republican thugs/youths i saw sum 18-22 year olds wavin tricolours and throwin stones how can u say that it was "just kids". there was about 100 ppl out there :thmbdown:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
526 Posts
Well my definitaion of a Republican is not someone who waves a tri colour and throws stones.
Not suprisingly the article does not mention sectarian chants being sung by linfield fans at the game, i have read both sides of what happend at and after the game and both sets of supporters are condemning the stone throwing and the sectarian chants, hopefully they can build on that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,067 Posts
sure thats great progress!!

I was at Bohs v Rangers in the UEFA cup (a long, long time ago but I'm not an aul fart!!). There were about 5,000 Rangers fans there who came by coaches from the north (the scots came via the northern ferries etc). So that makes for hundreds of buses all parked from Phibsboro up to Glasnevin and beyond.

There was'nt a window left in any coach by the time the hit the border after the game. Dundalk was a hot spot on the way neadless to say.

Having said that the Rangers fans started the whole shebang. They started a riot at halt time, and wrecked Phibsboro afterwards.

Mind you, twas a cracker of a game, with Bohs winning 3-2. Davie Cooper was playing for Rangers. Some player.

There you are now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
526 Posts
I wasnt at that game myself badge as i was too young but i've heard all the stories about it. They showed the game down the club last year too and it was indeed a great win for us.
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top