Everybody who knows me will confirm that my life revolves around sport. Before my asthma deteriorated I never missed a Scunthorpe United game, home or away I would be there. Scunthorpe may not be a big club or particularly successful but for years they have provided me with lots of highs and lows, Wembley appearances, promotions, relegations and cup runs which have included games against clubs such as Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea. There weren’t many places that I would rather be than in a football stadium supporting the Mighty Iron. Over the years though, as my health as deteriorated I have had to miss some matches whether it be due to hospital admissions or in general just not feeling well enough to travel to some of the away games. Years ago I would still got to matches even if I was really well enough to but over the last year or so I have actually started to use some common sense and miss games if I aren’t well enough to really go. Saying that though I still get to the majority of games and I really enjoy it (even though watching Scunthorpe can be quite a frustrating experience).
Over the last year or so there is something that has crept into match days which is now making me wonder if it is worth carrying on going. Virtually every game now sees some idiot letting off flares / smoke bombs in the stands and often throwing them onto the pitch. The smoke and the smell is awful and it really effects my chest. This happened regularly towards the end of last season and during both games that we have played so far this season. This is resulting me in suffering from breathing difficulties during the game and I usully end up struggling for a good 24 hours afterwards. An example of how bad it can be is highlighted on the YouTube video below that was actually recorded by somebody at a Scunthorpe United game.
Even if I am sat or stood some distance from the flare the smoke hangs in the air for ages and reaches / effects much of the stadium and so it is almost impossible to avoid.
I do not want to spoil other people’s enjoyment but I don’t see why I should be made to either stop attending matches or continuing to attend but jeapordising my health because of a few idiots who are actually carrying out a criminal act.
So despite watching my club for years I have a real dilemma developing and even though the club claim to be trying to stop them getting into the ground by introducing searches etc they are failing miserably. Surely the culprits can be picked out on cctv or by stewards?
At times I find if difficult to breathe when the air quality and weather is poor so what chance do I stand when some idiots are intent on letting off these awful things. I know that I am not the only one who is suffering from the effects of these, I hear many people complaining and have seen others having to seek medical attention. I have also seen the issue discussed on social media, many are unhappy about them while others fail to see or understand the issue, maybe if they or their child suffered from asthma they would understand. Unfortunately there are many selfish people out there, some may say that I am boring or a spoilsport, if that is what it appears I am sorry that my need to breathe may prevent them from having fun.
Below are a couple of links to interesting articles on the BBC website regarding flares at football