“You Have To Support The Home Nations”: Not If You’re English

By Nathan Lee

The first football shirt I ever owned was a fake replica Scotland kit delivered in a plastic box from Leeds market.

I wore it with pride. The navy blue top was striking atop a pair of white shorts and matching football socks and it never struck me as an issue donning a national shirt of another home nation.

But as I’ve grown older I’ve become familiar with a general hatred of the English shared by other British nations. In the last Six Nations tournament I felt like a stranger in my own country supporting England against France in a London pub filled with French supporters with Welsh, Scottish and Irish accents.

And the hatred has been palpable in this year’s Euro 2016 tournament. For the first time ever England qualified alongside Wales and Northern Ireland with the Scots the only country narrowly missing out on a place in the finals.

But this has caused more division than unity. When England met their inevitable demise in the last 16 sales of Iceland shirts in Scotland boomed. Kit makers said they had received thousands of orders from Scotland no doubt looking to revel in England’s misery. As for our other Celtic counterparts the support has been, well, lacking:

So asked whether I will be supporting a home nation tonight when Wales take on Belgium in the Quarter Finals my answer is no. I’m English, and I’m not feeling the love from the other side.

1 Response

  1. Robbie craig

    I can see where you are coming from with this but as a Scot brought up in England, your experience of the way the other home nations are presented is different. An England defeat is an seen as an aberration and the commentary and analysis is always thru the lens of English based commentators and experts, who don’t really know much about the topic and always turn the conversation to England. When Scotland (sigh) qualified for tournaments they were always an add on to hours of coverage of England. It is this that turns off fans not the team. I have enjoyed games more since I found that on the BBC there is a commentary free feed and I stopped reading tabloids. Also, there is a news blackout on negative attitudes by England players, I saw tweets by the Icelandic players about what was said about them by England players.

Leave a Reply