England football fans - what a horrible bunch some of them really are.
Before any match in any tournament you see them there in bars and on stadium concourses and terraces with their flags of St George and tattoos, helping God save the Queen.
They are as proud as punch - the little Englander determined to trumpet his team and his nation, especially abroad.
I can’t quarrel with the principle of partisan support.
Even for Leeds United.
But, in England’s case, abroad, it rarely starts and ends with normal fan boisterousness.
This week, in Italy, some of these knuckle-draggers were banging on about the IRA.
What’s all that about?
Most of them probably weren’t old enough to vote when Provos were active in this country.
And, anyway, what has it got to do with football...in Juventus Stadium...in 2015?
Obviously, it was just macho posturing, seizing on anything to make these pasty-faced heroes-for-a day look like hard men patriots.
But really, those IRA chants just made them brainless and juvenile.
There were 3,000 there, so how many of them were singing that stuff?
A minority, but too many, by the sounds of it.
Maybe some of them were those who had a brandished a ‘No Surrender’ flag at Celtic Park last November.
Or some of the older guys in Turin may even have been in the 1995 Dublin riot at Landsdowne Road.
Hang on. Oh great...check out the fixture list.
Just have a look who England play on June 7...the Republic of Ireland.
This doesn’t bode well, and even the FA are recognising it.
Maybe this is the time for them to set an example.
Ban all England fans from going to Ireland for the ‘friendly.’
That way, the majority suffer because of the nutball minority.
So next time fans ARE allowed to watch England, they will all know that if they start that nonsense again, they are going to ruin it for the majority around them.
Which may make them think twice.
That might be naive, but as things stand at the moment the friendly in Dublin in June could end up being much more than another crippling international embarrassment.