Before I begin this blog post , I have to say a massive than you to Radio Six Presenter ,author and Professional Lancastrian Stuart Maconie, who’s many volumes quite happily dominate my office bookshelf, for the inspiration for this blog post
It was in the process e-reading the sublime ‘ Pies and Prejudice -In search of the North ‘ for the nth time in the midst of ‘new book’ budget crisis, that I re-discoverd Maconies thoughts on his hometown and it got me thinking about how, as rugby league fans we broach criticism of both our clubs and our sport . He writes ..
‘I feel about Wigan like I feel about Catholicism , like some do about Hartlepool United or folk music . Being steeped in it I’m allowed to make fun of it , I can sit around with like -minded friends and laugh about the lack of a decent Thai restaurant in Whelley or the townie beer monsters on King St or for that matter the flaws in the notions of purgatory or transubstantiation.But woe betide any ‘outsider’ who rattles our cage . Like a south central gangsta bandying the ‘ N’ word with his homies , we have the credentials .We’ve earned the right to self -deprecate the hard way.We’re allowed to take the piss..
But if anyone else should -God forbid, a Southerner, then hackles rise ,whatever hackles are. I’m not proud of this it’s just the way things are. Outsiders making fun of our hometown is fighting talk where I come from . Mind you everything is fighting talk where I come from, I come from Wigan.’
Fat, Fifty Rugby League Enthusiast .Avid follower of all things League 1 and unfortunate survivor of a 50 year love affair with Keighley RLFC..