In the wake of the horrific events in Paris, English football was quick to show it’s solidarity with the French capital. First at Wembley and then on Saturday, when every game in the English Premier League was preceded by the singing of La Marseillaise.
Now as a fan of a Premier League club (ahem) I was happy to stand in silence whilst the French national anthem was played (well I’m hardly likely to sing it) and I also understood why the Manchester United fans saw fit to interrupt it with a chant about Eric Cantona. He is after all, the greatest living Frenchman and closely allied with the club. However, little was I to know that even as the game began, a social media storm was brewing. A yellow and black hornet shaped storm.
The reason for this angst can be found toward the right of the photograph at the beginning of this blog. For people watching at home began to accuse Watford of being disrespectful by allowing the club mascot to line up with the players. But they are wrong. In fact, the exact opposite is true for one very important reason.
I know most football fans say this about their clubs, but Watford Football Club really are unique. I may have spent decades bemoaning the ‘Family Club’ tag and spend a good portion of most Saturdays ridiculing the ‘clap your hands, stamp your feet’ brigade but the fact remains that they are, and always will be, a genuine family club. Our club mascot, Harry the Hornet, is an integral part of that family and to me, to most, when he stands with the players, as he does so before every home game, he does so to represent us, the fans.
Therefore, for him to stand with the team and join them to show solidarity with the people of Paris was not simply right, it was absolutely right.
And if you still have an issue with that, you don’t understand my football club at all. But that’s your problem, not ours.
Come on you ‘Orns.
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2 thoughts on “Harry the Hornet: football’s perfect response to Paris.”
When the ‘media storm’ happened I was aghast and disappointed in the media response and posted on social media my disgust at the negativity aimed at Watford FC and whilst I apologise for my forthright opinion the question still remains in that how can anyone ‘decide’ what is and what is not ‘appropriate’. Harry the Hornet is a Watford icon and is the link pin to the younger Watford fans, his inclusion represents the total support of Watford FC in supporting the recent atrocities not only in France but worldwide and anyone who dares suggest otherwise should take a serious look at their own moral position before casting their opinion on others.
Well said. I think I’ve seen s single criticism from a Watford fan and that was that he thought Harry should have taken his hat/head off!