I explained to her that in rugby you could support a club but still applaud the opposing side. This did not happen often in football

Almost 20 years ago I took my daughter, who was then in her early teens, to see Llanelli play London Welsh at Old Deer Park. It was, I need hardly say, at her request, for I do not believe in imposing rugby on anybody, least of all on adolescent girls. An old friend of mine was there as well, and the three of us sat together.

The Llanelli backs performed some nifty move and one of them scored a try. My friend and I clapped politely saying: "Well done," or something along similar lines.

"Why are you both clapping?" my daughter asked.

"Because they scored quite a good try," I said. "But you're supposed to be supporting London Welsh," she replied, "not the other lot."

I explained to her that in rugby you could support a club but still applaud the opposing side when they did something praiseworthy. This, I went on, did not happen, or not often, in football, in whose culture her friends had presumably been brought up.

The crowd at Straddy Park, Llanelli's home ground - only 10 miles or so from where her grandparents lived - were, I continued, warming to my theme, famous for applauding the visiting side if they performed meritoriously.

She was, I seem to remember, unconvinced by my short excursion in search of that elusive substance, the spirit of Rugby Union Football. If you supported a team, you supported a team, and that team's opponents were your enemies. This way of looking at things had been creeping into rugby well before this season. But with the game being made professional it has become more pronounced. Certain clubs have helped it on its way. Richmond are a case in point.

Before the match at Richmond pop music is played over the loudspeakers.Nothing wrong with that. Harlequins do the same at The Stoop - old Adrian Stoop must be revolving in his grave at several revolutions per minute - and Wasps do it when they are playing at Loftus Road. I should prefer myself a selection of rousing Sousa marches played, preferably live, by a brass or silver band. But I am getting on a bit now, and tastes differ.

What is objectionable is not what goes on before a match but what happens during it, at Richmond at any rate. If the home side score a try, a short but loud burst of Gary Glitter comes over the loudspeakers. If a conversion or penalty is kicked successfully, we are entertained to a snatch of Roy Orbison's It's Over.

This is quite witty, I suppose, in a silly sort of way. But the performances, whether of Gary Glitter or of Roy Orbison, are put on only when Richmond score. The visiting team might just as well not be present at all; they are non-persons.

This policy of non-recognition seemed particularly strange when Richmond played London Scottish earlier in the season. Theoretically, in terms of fixture lists, it may have been a home match. But as the two clubs share the Richmond Athletic ground, all contests between Richmond and London Scottish are home games for both sides.

I wonder, incidentally, how much longer this arrangement can continue if Richmond are promoted to the First Division. On this occasion Scottish had tried to match Gary Glitter in the stand with some live pipers on the touchline. Just as it was on the field, it was no contest.

Richmond are one of my favourite clubs. They play not only entertaining but powerful rugby. They were unlucky to lose to Sale, to judge by the press reports and by the long excerpt shown on Rugby Special. [Is there, I wonder, any point at all in showing all those short excerpts?] Brian Moore, a more peaceful citizen than he often likes to give the impression of being, was even more unlucky to be sent off.

I take credit for spotting the qualities of the revivified Allan Bateman some weeks before the Welsh selectors did. I am delighted that Scott Quinnell has, through the intercession of a beneficent businessman, Geoff Cartwright, been able to resolve his differences with the Welsh Rugby Union. I hope his brother Craig is picked for Wales as well. And I am pleased that Chris Clark, who used to be an England prospect, put in an appearance at loose- head prop last Saturday.

In short, I wish the club well. I have nothing against Richmond. Long may they prosper, at any rate until the money runs out. I only wish they would now give us a rest from Roy Orbison and Gary Glitter.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Tradewind Recruitment: English Teacher

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: My client is an excellent, large partially ...

Tradewind Recruitment: Science Teacher

£90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: I am currently working in partnersh...

Tradewind Recruitment: Year 3 Primary Teacher

£100 - £150 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Year 3 Teacher Birmingham Jan 2015...

Ashdown Group: Lead Web Developer (ASP.NET, C#) - City of London

£45000 - £50000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Lead Web Develo...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee