As a West Ham fan of many years I am saddened and disappointed by the events that transpired outside and inside the ground last night. To see the people running onto the pitch was sheer lunacy, middle aged guys as well as teenagers just letting emotion run wild and not thinking about the consequences After all the trouble and negative press West Ham United has had to deal with through the Tevez affair, the banking collapse in Iceland and the constant rumours of us having to sell our best players to balance the books - what were these so called fans of this great East London club thinking of?
In what world does hooliganism on any scale seem right? That world is the world we live in. Somehow the bitter rivalry between the two teams 'firms' was such that they didn't spare a thought for the actual reason that the two sets of fans would be at the ground - a football match. These guys were not interested in football and cannot call themselves followers of football. You are not a more passionate supporter if you fight with the oppositions supporters or invade the pitch - why, because you bring the club into disrepute. You show no affection to the club whatsoever.
Hooliganism is selfish and shows one of the ugliest sides of our sinful nature. The sheer tribalism that these men would more than likely have shouted off about when the Kenyan elections went so disastrously wrong, is exactly what they are involved in. Only this could be deemed as even more mindless as they were just rioting for rioting sake, not to try to seize power or demand that things are done fairly.
Men ranging from early teems to mid fifties, becoming like our barbarian ancestors all in the name of a sport that condemns it. Actually our country has not only condemned it, but has also become the world leader in tackling it. My guess would be that most of those involved in last nights trouble would have been those who had previously be banned from grounds for many years, rearing up only because it is Millwall against West Ham.
As you can see this has struck a nerve with me. I hate the fact that football hooliganism happens at all, but when it happens at my club, it frustrates me. Two young lads who have been brought through the academy at West Ham played their hearts out last night and scored the goals that saw the team through to the next round of the cup. That will not be remembered. A great last breath comeback which wold have been hailed as a great achievement in different circumstances, will not be reported on. Only the actions of these mindless few who heap slander on all football fans. I pray that we will not see scenes like these again and pray that justice will be served.
Christs light is the only thing that will serve to transform the lives of men who are otherwise determined to damage each other all in the name of football, but actually it's in the name of violence and hatred. The rage shown last night makes me resolve in my heart all the more to stay hidden in Christ and endeavour to constantly choose to put off my old self and clothe myself in the Spirit of God and the Gospel of peace.