West: The Stewards are a disgrace

Last updated : 24 November 2002 By Danny West
Stewards, eh?
Those of you who weren't there or didn't know, there was a lot of trouble in the Z Block yesterday, and all those that were there will agree that the main reason for this was the chief steward of the Jimmy Sirrell Stand, whose name apparently is Brian.

For those that don't know me, my name is Danny, I'm 16 and have been a regular in the Z Block all season. I sit (stand) with the small group of people at the top of the stand, singing throughout the whole match. Up until yesterdays match, there had been no trouble between fans and stewards whatsoever, apart from the odd argument over the top two rows being blocked off. The usual steward who stands just behind us is a good bloke, and to be fair to him he was on our side throughout yesterdays debacle.

He wore a cap like this
It all started when Brian, the steward decided that he had to make use of his authority by ordering us all to sit down. Most did, until a blast of 'Stand up if you love County' brought everyone up to their feet again. Within the next ten minutes the situation went from bad to worst. Despite the usual steward constantly telling Brian that we had never once caused any trouble, he still insisted on us all sitting, despite the fact that further down the Sirrell stand and in the away block people stood every week without any bother at all. Several people pointed this out to no avail. Eventually one man was kicked out for apparent racist chanting.

Neither me nor anyone else near him had heard any racist chanting, so this came as quite a suprise considering Brian had just wanted 'a word'. This resulted in many people asking for Brians name and number so they could make an official complaint, which he repeatedly refused to give. One women and her daughter even climbed several rows of seats to get to him, and still he refused.

Little did i know soon Brian would be having 'a word with me'. After asking me to sit down once, and me again pointing to all the others standing, he had his second target in sights. Five minutes passed until several stewards came up the stand. I was asked for 'a word' and was soon standing outside the ground by myself, trying to watch the match through the big gates outside the family stand.

Where the incident took place
Fortunately my Dad, Mick West was in the crowd and managed to convince the head steward that i was a good lad really and to let me back in. After about five minutes the chief steward agreed to let me sit in the Pavis stand, alone. My Dad returned to his seat, and almost as soon as he had left Brian arrived on the scene, adamant that i wasn't allowed to be let back in, until the steward entrusted with supervising me everntually got it through to him that it had been cleared with the Head steward of the entire ground.
Eventually Brian gave up, and pulled the steward to one side to tell him to "Keep on eye on him and make sure he doesn't cause any more trouble".

What did he expect me to do, go on a rampage throughout the Pavis stand ripping up all the seats? I was kept under constant steward supervision for the entire match, and by the end i was wondering whether spending all that time trying to get myself back in had been worth it.

I had gone down there to support my football club, and by doing so had been victimised by the stewards. I think that Brian went into the group of about ten or twenty people and targeted the person least likely to hit him or make a fuss. I will be lodging an official complaint to the club, but come the next home match I'll be back in the Z Block, singing my heart out for the lads. Sitting or standing.