Summer – Public Enemy Number 1

Summer is ordinarily public enemy number one to a supporter of a football club.  Every two years we get respite with the Euros or the World Cup, but following a national team is not quite the same as the passion and togetherness you experience supporting a team like Oxford United.

This time of year therefore is a void, a gigantic black hole within which you try and wedge other diversions in the hope it might make time pass faster.  This might be a holiday maybe, some other hobby, shopping on a Saturday afternoon or a music festival…..

This year we have been lucky enough to have Rob Da Bank’s brilliant Common People festival come to town.  Indeed, it was so successful that it looks like this might become a routine occurrence.  One thing that struck me at this festival was number of Oxford United fans in attendance.  It was especially pleasing to see so many youngsters proudly wearing their colours. The season just past I think has been a significant one in encouraging new support, and the evidence was already here, but was to become even more apparent.

On twitter, independently, a few of us tweeted our attendance at the festival and an unplanned convergence was arranged at the front of the stage.  The group: Public Enemy.  It seemed a few of us shared an appreciation not only of England’s finest football club, but also the music of this New York hip hop group.

So we grouped up, some of us had never met before, but that’s how it often happens at OUFC away days, you’re best mates with whoever you happen to be next too for 90 mins.  The music started and some of us were clearly enjoying it more than others (I’m looking at you @SwissYellow) and much like Liam Sercombe’s goal at Carlisle, limbs were in the air.

One member of Public Enemy was close to us and wearing a camouflaged military bucket hat.  This inspired fellow U’s fan @Fred_ugly, also wearing a bucket hat, but his bearing the name and Ox logo of our beloved football club.  He caught his attention and in, an improvised, but effective means of sign language let him know that it would be really cool if he wore the hat.  With a nod it was confirmed and the hat was tossed, JUST making it on to the stage.

Once the hat was put on it became obvious how many fellow yellows were in the crowd.  Chants of “Yellows, yellows, yellows” started as he stoically stared out into the crowd.  Later the group spun a sample of White Stripes Seven Nation Army to which the crowd spontaneously supplemented with their own lyrics “Oh Callum O’Dowda”.

It became obvious to me then, that were very many Oxford fans enjoying that afternoon, all looking for that summer time distraction and in those brief moments with Public Enemy, it felt like we were all back on the terraces.


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