Beautiful game with Ugly behaviour

After Chris Kirkland was needlessly assaulted by a Leeds fan last week, do players need more security on the pitch? Or is it just thuggish behaviour?

We all know that derby matches bring out the rowdier crowds, with pent up aggression which can lead one thing to another and there be a bit of trouble. But to attack a player is just going way too far.

Behaviour of fans at derby matches is often just ignored and put down to the passion of the two sets of supporters, with a few ending up being arrested for stupid crimes, having scraps in the street and verbally abusing police officers, all pretty harmless incidents, and often down to having a few to many beers. 

But last week, Aaron Cawley took things to another level, deciding to come onto the pitch and punch Sheffield Wednesday keeper Chris Kirkland in the face, before cowardly going into hiding in the terraces. 

He could have anything in his hand, and the outcome could have been completely different, what if it had been a knife or a bottle that he hit Kirkland with? It would have left lasting injuries and possibly fatal ones. 

With football trying to currently save face after racism issues, this is just another example of the game getting out of hand. Any young fan that would have been at the game or seen it on TV must have been horrified to see a thug do what he did.  

Pitch invasions are acceptable when it’s at the end of the season and fans rush on to enjoy saviour from relegation or celebrating a promotion, but other than that there is no need. We all accept the odd streaker every now and then as they are harmless, apart from stopping the game for a brief moment or two and maybe causing a security guard to fall over, to everybody’s enjoyment.

Security guards are never going to out-number fans, obviously, and so controlling the fans that do get rowdy is always going to be difficult. But is it down to the fans to be controlled or should the fans be controlling themselves?

Football terraces should be a safe place for people to go to watch the sport they love and pay so much money to do so. Isn’t this why pens were taken out after the Hillsborough disaster and seating was put in, to make the viewing experience safer?

With people talking about taking seating out again this makes attending games a lot more difficult for families, who would honestly want to take their child into a terrace with thousands of people who when celebrating a goal could possibly be lost into the crowd. 

It is the thuggish behaviour that needs to be stopped, with them being the minority of the fans but taking up the majority of the headlines. 

Cawley had already been banned from football grounds since the age of 16 for previous discrepancies, and surely there should be tighter security measures to keep people like him out of football stadiums for ever. 

The beautiful game has no place for this ugly behaviour.

By Joe Aird @JoeAird5590