Monday, September 15, 2003

Rewriting History

The BBC and Guardian on the 'Three Degrees' .

"The Three Degrees may not have won anything together, but their influence cannot be exaggerated. 'At a time when far-right groups were recruiting outside other grounds, going to the the Hawthorns was more like being at a left-wing rally,' recalls Adrian Goldberg. 'The Three Degrees raised the political consciousness of Albion supporters everywhere.' "

Really. Was that why those same Albion fans made monkey noises at John Fashanu and Carlton Fairweather for the 90 minutes of their 4-1 F.A. Cup defeat at Wimbledon in 1989 ?

I was there and have never felt more ashamed of them. I think I was actually glad when the Dons got their fourth.

Note - the 'Three Degrees' were the three black players in the West Bromwich Albion soccer side of the late 1970s. Laurie Cunningham, a mercurial winger who never quite reached his full potential and died tragically young, Cyrille Regis, the powerful Guyanese centre-forward with a thunderous right foot, and full-back Brendan Batson. They WERE the start of the wave of black players into top clubs, but we never thought of them that way. Albion fans admired them as players and people, not as black icons. And I certainly never felt my consciousness rising as I stood at the Brummie Road End.