The winter break also provided a little time to dream up some new ideas of things to make and do for FCUM, the first (and lets face it, most realistic) of which was to make a new flag for the RRF.
The RRF or Regional Railway Firm hardly had humble beginnings. The Facebook page, the unclear number of members and of course the hugely expensive flag. Hollywooooooood! The flag, naturally, was left in the Social Club at Radcliffe one evening and was never seen again. However the spirit lived on, all be it a really shit spirit (sort of like the cheapest Gin at Tescos, which just has the word “GIN” on it in black letters). By Stockholm 2009 and the subsequent trip down to Hamburg for St Pauli’s last game of the season, a flag of sorts was back. Fitting, for that short while, but lets face it, fucking appalling.
Yet since then, the RRF, now down to a core base of participants (or morons) had honed its style. The liberal attitude towards drink continued, but occasionally the odd sign was shown of progression. Songs were invented, help was provided at Malcolmses, articles were written, donkey’s lives were followed and the right people were pissed off. All of this though, happened without a proper flag.
When many of the RRF marched against the Tories in Manchester last year, alongside other FCUM fans and friends, it was remarked upon that there was no obvious FC flag that joined it all together. Instead people marched under the banner of “Making friends not millionaires”. In retrospect it was a fitting choice, but nevertheless the RRF needed a flag once more.
The new design, above, hopefully addresses that need. A “Bandiera-Rossa" was an obvious starting point. The British Rail logo not only represents the RRF’s favoured mode of transport, but with the star is a little nod to Red Star Parcels (just because it cheers us up when you see its logo still hanging about at the odd train station). The font favored for the RRF letters, is a popular one amongst the Ultras on the continent and so therefore was always going to be a front runner. Not in the sense that we think we are ultras, but more our interest in scenes outside our own environment. Likewise the use of "Lads" is not because we think we are "fackin ledges" or because we are some deluded NWIF divs, but an appreciation of how English football culture of the 70s and 80s was the inspiration for fans on the continent leading to them appropriating terms in the group names like "fighters", "lads", "boys" etc. Now that the continent leads in terms of football culture, we can pinch a little back.
Finally to Jarama Valley. Jarama Valley has a historical link to the city of Manchester. At FC we continue to remember that. Woody Guthrie’s song of the same name was once sung at Malcolmses. Another lad who has got more than the one nod in FC’s brief history, after O’F’s fine work.
All a bit pretentious, so before Two Mowers accuses us of being so scouse that we could be the ref and linesmen next week, I’ll remind you all that the gold fringe not only gives the flag a nice union banner feel, its also because, to some, we will always be regarded as a right bunch of frilly fronts! ;-)