By Prof Dr Ian Blackshaw
The English Football League has opened an investigation after several female supporters of Grimsby Town FC were required by stewards to show their bras before being allowed into a recent away game with Stevenage FC.
One of the women subjected to this “invasive” search was a seventy-year old Grimsby Town FC supporter, who said that she was “mortified” by the experience.
An official at Stevenage FC claimed that the search was not “typical” but was the result of a concern that prohibited items might be smuggled into the ground by women and children and lead to disorder.
Grimsby Town FC reacted “angrily” to this search, saying that the Club does not condone the searching of women’s underwear!
As a sequel to this case, a male Lincoln City FC supporter wore, instead of his supporter’s shirt, a bra – in fact, the biggest one he could buy! – at an away match on 9 September with Stevenage FC “to make a point about security!”
He asked one of the Stevenage FC stewards to check his bra, but the steward only asked him to remove his hat – to see what was under it.
When this fan was asked whether the bra would become part of football supporting attire in the future, he is reported to have replied:
“Well, I do fund raising for cancer research and might do a sponsored wearing of the bra for another match….”
A rather bizarre and amusing episode and one, no doubt, that will go down in English football social history!
Prof Dr Ian Blackshaw may be contacted by e-mail at ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’