Not my team

I feel compelled to respond to Michael Kelly's article "Hoping England lose is just no fun any more" (Opinion, 8 June). As far back as I can remember (I have a bus pass!), I have always supported ABE (Anyone But England) in international team sporting events, including on their day of football glory in 1966. I have been asked, and have tried, many times to articulate why.

Yes, there's the media and football pundits (from Jimmy Hill to Motty), with their constant banging on about past glories and current expectations. But it's not just that.

Yes there's the wee neighbour/ big neighbour thing. What wee neighbour wants its big neighbour to win anything? Certainly not, for example, Denmark (re Germany) nor Portugal (re Spain). So it's not just that either.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

I used to get annoyed when the English fans waved their Union flags at England games because of their clear assumption that Britain and England were one and the same thing. Nowadays, to their credit, they wave their own flag, so it can't be that either.

So it's a number of things, but the main thing is why should I support them just because they are a neighbour?

Mr Kelly, in describing those of us who believe in independence as malcontents happy to blame other people for our failures, misses the important point that one reason why we want to be in control of our own destiny is that, in such a situation, we will not be able to blame others but will have to look to ourselves for answers.

Let the fun commence.


Victoria Crescent


Michael Kelly argues that Scotland is no good at sport, irritates the English by the "huge subsidies they hand us" and that the Union will be at risk if we don't support England in the World Cup.

I have no objection to anyone from Scotland supporting England at football or any other game. We share the same island and it is good to be neighbourly. But has Michael considered that all the bad things he observes in Scottish society, including anti-Englishness, have developed whilst Scotland has been within the Union?

As a former doctor, I know that when the patient is getting worse, he doesn't need just more of the medicine that is failing to work.


Scottish Parliament

When Michael Kelly asserts that Scotland is no longer a serious contender in any sports, he seems to have forgotten curling. In Scotland, more adults play curling than play football, and our national teams, both men and women, are consistently amongst the finalists in Olympic, world and European championships.


Burnside Road