It’s coming home (apparently)

So I wasn’t planning on blogging again so quickly; I’m thinking twice, maybe three times a week is sufficient and sustainable. But I went into town yesterday as Phill was working and it was the first day of Hoodwinked 2018 (more on that another time now) and got caught up in the celebrations of football fans after England’s 2-0 win over Sweden in the World Cup quarter finals.
I was sitting outside Dolcino’s indulging in a favourite guilty pleasure (more on that another day too) when I realised the match was a few minutes from ending and sitting next to a pub packed with fans probably wasn’t a good place to be. So I crossed the road and got a higher vantage point, standing on the edge of the water feature at the end of Market Square.
And then came the roar.
You could hear it emanating from every pub in the city ‘Football’s coming home’.
Fans spilled out of The Bank pub, dancing and chanting and hugging each other; flags waving in their hands and draped over their shoulders. Some were quite emotional – others blatantly just drunk. But it was all very good humoured.
Then this great mass of people appeared from the top of Friar Lane. 3,000 people (roughly) had watched the match in the grounds of Nottingham Castle. Entry was free – although I did hear one guy say fans were charged £2 for a bottle of water and £5 for a small beer, so I bet they made some money.
This is what Nottinghamshire Live had to say about the Castle celebrations.
As the two groups of fans combined, I was glad I had chosen a position slightly out of the way. It was all a bit busy for me. This is one of the videos I took during the crowd celebrations.
Then the few started giving the majority a bad name. The trams ground to a halt just because of the sheer volume of people at the end of Market Square, not because anyone was deliberately targeting the trams. I could see the faces of the passengers inside and mostly they were smiling, parents pointing out all the fans and the flags to their children.
There were two taxis stuck in the throng at the bottom of Friar Lane too. And then one idiot – it really only does take one doesn’t it – climbed on the roof of the first taxi. The crowd cheered – well some of them did – and he started jumping up and down. His first moment of fame. Maybe his second will come when he’s up before the court for criminal damage, who knows?
A couple of other drunken morons followed suit and before you knew it, the windscreen and the sunroof and bonnet of the taxi were trashed, glass shattered, metal dented. I saw the taxi driver get out. There were a couple of female Police Community Support Officers and one female Police Officer on the scene at the time. They didn’t have a hope in hell of holding back the tide.
This is the state of the taxi afterwards. Police guarding it before it was loaded on to a lorry and carted away.
There were a few fans up lamposts and on bus shelters. Some had climbed on to the roof of a nearby building. That’s always going to happen when you get huge crowds of people. 
It’s a shame, though, that it only takes four or five pillocks to make people believe that Nottingham city centre was completely trashed and was a no go area – because it wasn’t. I was there, on my own, short, middle-aged woman brandishing an iPhone, not feeling remotely threatened by the generally happy and good humoured (albeit loud) crowds. Word travels fast though and Phill, who was working in Upper Parliament Street, had heard about the violence from someone who had come into the store and phoned to check I was ok. And I was. It was lively and it was fun… a baptism of fire of how my newly-adopted city celebrates. 
This is my favourite of the pictures I took yesterday.
I think it sums up the geniality – and size – of the crowd all celebrating a great football victory.
And it tells me a lot more about the people of the city than the small handful of drunken idiots who smashed up the taxi, because you can find drunken idiots anywhere.

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I want to tell stories in words and pictures. Traveller, writer, photographer, artist, seeker of knowledge. Making my own efforts to change the world.

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