Stop pretending, you’re English really
I’m a quarter Welsh you know
It’s the last weekend of Six Nations season, and with four of the home nations competing for the championship, it must be time for all the plastic Celts to crawl back out of the woodwork.
Rugby Union is the one sport in which England have major competition from its closest neighbours, and so many of the most hardened England fans search deep into their family histories for a hint of Celtic origin.
A Plastic Celt is an English person who decides to support any of the Home Nations. They usually choose by scraping the barrel of their family heritage, tracing their long lost great great step-grandparent’s dog back to 17th Century Ireland.
The question is: why? The history of one of our country’s oldest sporting inventions is actually quite rich. Since the formation of the current format, England have the best Six Nations record. It would be understandable if the Welsh could destroy our footballers, or if the Scottish were the superior cricketers, but as we all know, despite the lack of enthusiasm about English sport, we have the strongest national teams in the British Isles.
So who is it, exactly, who supports our neighbours?
Perhaps the most typical type of fake fan is the Plastic Paddy. We all know one or two, and chances are they’re not Irish at all. They might claim their great-uncle lived in Cork in the 18th century. In reality though, there are a lot of people with Irish heritage, but the ones who become extreme supporters are probably those who just enjoy a drink or 10. You probably saw most of them on Broad Street this week for St Patrick’s Day.
The fake Welsh fans are more of a peculiar bunch. You’ll probably see them down at Gosta at the weekend with their pints, wearing their Wales shirts, and they’ll probably tell you they’re a quarter Welsh. You might think this is an acceptable level of Welsh heritage to support them – and you’d be right, if they didn’t all own England football shirts too. More so than their “Irish” cousins, the plastic Welsh pick and choose when to be Celtic.
It is very likely you can believe anyone who claims to be Scottish, for the simple reason Scotland don’t boast any good teams. Arguably the worst team in the Six Nations, anyone who dons their Navy Blue and tartan on a match day is probably half Scottish and proud of it. They will have completely abandoned their English identity for the calling of a pint of Tenants, and are probably more common in pubs like Sacks of Potatoes.
So why is it we feel an urgent need to go against our own country when it comes to rugby? Do we really have so little faith it’s necessary to pledge allegiance to our Celtic neighbours? Leave them to support their own teams and get behind your own. After all, we did beat Wales and Scotland and we’re top of the table.