Silence please.

A year ago, after the Watford game at St James Park, I was moved to write a piece for the Mag complaining about the inability of some of our crowd to observe a minute’s silence.

A year on, here we are again. Last Saturday I (along with the majority of the crowd) had to cringe as some among us failed once again to understand the simplest of instructions.

“Ladies and Gentlemen, we would ask you observe a minute’s silence…”

There is a big clue in there if you look. It’s the word “SILENCE”…

Silence is an absence of noise. In order to remain silent you don’t speak, or shout, or sing, or clap your hands, or shake a tambourine, or blow a trumpet. You don’t do any of those things.

Now ordinarily I wouldn’t get too hot under the collar about what happened last weekend. I’m not altogether sure that it was really appropriate for the crowd at St James Park to be asked to observe a minute’s silence because five people who had no connection to our club died in an accident.

It’s bad stuff – but there’s bad stuff happens to our own people every week. Do we have a minute’s silence because Geordie from the East Stand dies in a car crash, or Billy from the Gallowgate has a heart attack?

Anyway, that’s besides the point. The thing is that this coming weekend is a serious memorial. Before the Bournemouth game there will be a minute’s silence to commemorate 100 years exactly since the end of the Great War.

Whether they know the details of it or not, almost everybody in that crowd will have lost a family member in that war. For some of the younger ones, there will be 4 or 5 generations between them – and sometimes as the generations pass, things get forgotten. But if they looked they would find that most of them had great-great-great uncles who were blown apart, or burned, or drowned.

I’m not unusual. I know about 3 of my own who were killed by the Great War. There are only 2 generations between me and them, so maybe I know the details better than some. A great-uncle in the Durham Light Infantry died on the first day of the Somme. Another great-uncle died in the final advance in October 1918. And my grandfather was gassed in the Ludendorff offensive of early 1918, and eventually died of the damage to his lungs nearly 20 years later.

I’m happy to spend a minute remembering them at the weekend – but for pity’s sake, there’s nothing to applaud.

So if you’re at the match this coming Saturday, turn your phone down and keep quiet. And if the person next to you starts clapping, it wouldn’t be a bad thing (politely or otherwise) to suggest they stop.

The minority who can’t keep silent make themselves look like idiots – but they make the rest of us feel like fools as well.

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  • Paul Patterson

    The clue is in the word ‘silence’.
    I’ve no problem with the idea of a ‘Minutes appreciation’ where applause is granted a player/manager/coach etc, but once the decision is made, then you must observe what is announced.

    Moving on to Saturday, we have the horrific event of war to remember. I have had
    family members who have served in wars and I don’t think anyone who has would want their efforts applauded. Merely respected.

    That’s why I’ll be SILENT on Saturday.

    • The Postman

      In this instance silence IS golden.

    • Billmag

      Well said Paul 👍

    • Old codger

      Sadly in 2018 people are incapable of shutting up for 60 seconds so we revert to clapping.

      Ask any twenty something to explain what either war was about and most are clueless.
      Unless they have military connections

      its not their fault because If you are not taught about your history ,why would you care.

      We are now a self obsessed , ignorant society which gets worse every generation

      Still , who cares as long as we have Jeremy Kyle to watch each morning

      • Dillon Tovak

        What an apt name you have 😂

      • Carverlier football

        Is it not still on the syllabus? We covered both world wars at GCSE – 25 years ago now mind…

      • Wor Lass

        You must be looking forward to getting out of it.

        • Superdooperhooper

          That’s not a nice thing to say

          • Wor Lass

            True – but true!

  • Mike

    I was there and I could’nt agree more. The problem was a few people started to clap which seemed to spread contagiously around the stadium, including the watford players!

  • Nick Young

    We were clapping to highlight the fact that their Chairman was a wonderful human being who did nothing but good for Leicester City and the wider community, in contrast to our own beloved parasite! It was not disrespectful.

  • Dan Robson

    it seems like you have a lot of pent up anger and aggression, i run a help class for those with similar mental issues, if you would like to talk through and resolve your anger issues, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

    Kind Regards.

    • Kenny

      you need to see a shrink !

    • Kenny

      I told my psychiatrist that everyone hates me,
      he said i was being ridiculous – everyone hasn`t met you yet

  • Kenny

    Every year i attend the War memorial in Blackett St with my Dad,
    my grandfather served for 2 years in Korea, my father served in 2 tours of Northern Ireland in the early 70`s, he also served 2 years with Nato Forces and 6 months with UN Forces.
    you can hear a pin drop at 11am in Blackett St & i hope it is the same in St James Park on Saturday

    • Dillon Tovak

      You might just about be able to hear one during the actual game.

  • Cockneytrev

    On Saturday the Watford players were clapping.

  • t00nraider

    As we have some idiotic fans, maybe applauding may be better in these cases. Diferent cultures have different ways of dealing with these situations. Maybe not a bad idea to change to this way.

    • Foggy

      So once again we have to dumb everything down to the lowest level.

  • Steven05

    If it’s a minutes silence – be silent

    You are representing the people of Newcastle

  • BigHairyDog

    My simple guide…if you don’t show respect and keep quiet you’re going to get battered!!!

  • 1957

    I’ve been trying to think if this ‘minute applause’ is unique to modern football or modern sport generally. For me a period of respectful silence in a football ground, especially under floodlights,is one of the most atmospheric things you can experience.

    • Carverlier football

      I reckon the minute’s applause was dreamed up to combat the idiots who would ruin a silence, seems to be last 10 years or so

    • Wor Lass

      I think the idea was to celebrate the life rather than mourn the death. I can`t remember what it was started for but it was a definite decision somewhere along the line. I don`t mind it as a tribute to someone but I don`t think it should be done for Remembrance day (or at least as close to it s our match comes). It does avoid any embarrassment caused by morons but I don`t really think that`s been a problem in our grounds.

  • ben

    It was the watford players that were the first to clap, I thought the announcer had asked for a minutes reflection. Either way that’s really not what is important here and the whole article detracts from the intended meaning. At the end of the day it’s irrelevant how we remember and reflect, as long as we do.

    • Dillon Tovak

      Exactly my thoughts.

  • Fairscup69

    Wow. We need an article on here about this? Seriously? I wonder if the author thinks that the Leicester chairman’s family were offended by this? Observing the minutes silence for 11/11 is quite different however, on that I would agree.

  • Fairscup69

    When our fans behave like the Mancs did in 81 when Shanks passed away or when Don Revie did then thats when we have a problem.

  • mactoon

    I always see spontaneous applause as a way of celebrating the persons life so don’t have a problem with it but I do agree that Remembrance Day should be silent.

  • Superdooperhooper

    Just show some respect and had ya gobs for a minute this weekend. Not difficult is it ?

    • Blackburn1066

      It is for some

  • Blackburn1066

    I think talking about telling people to shut up for 1 minute in the year is so sad. Most of the fans in SJP never say a word on most Saturdays when we are playing at home any how. 1 Minute not a sound, Got it!

  • Rich Lawson

    Unlike an accident (tragic that it is) most of the young people we honour from the 1st world war knew they were going to die but went forward anyway. A poppy and a minutes silence is the VERY least they deserve.