They can be good mementoes of rare matches
4 June ~ I never realised the antipathy people hold towards half-and-half scarves until I was abused on Twitter by a random account called Half Scarf Twat. This account – now suspended – basically trawled Twitter for references to such scarves and called the person tweeting about such scarves a twat.
I’d earned this abuse by tweeting about buying one for the prestige pre-season friendly between Shrewsbury Town and Galatasaray in July 2013. (Prestige for Shrewsbury, I’m not sure what Wesley Sneijder and Didier Drogba made of it all.)
True, half-and-half scarves may have been made too often. They’ve been produced for Premier League games. There were even pictures circulating on Twitter of half-and-half scarves produced for the bizarre friendly between Qatar and Northern Ireland played at Gresty Road in Crewe a few days ago. But at the level Shrewsbury play at, they are a rarity.
I have collected four. My first was at Arsenal in 2011 for a League Cup game. It was a great match. Shrewsbury led at one point – Arsène Wenger was on the brink and it looked like he might get sacked. At 1-0 down, the Shrewsbury fans even sang "You’re getting sacked in the morning”. High drama.
On the way to the Emirates from the Tube station I passed a barrow-load of extremely unofficial-looking Arsenal merchandise, including what turned out to be my first half-and-half scarf. It had the date and fixture on. It also cunningly circumvented copyright rules by printing Arsnal and a cannon where the “e” should be. (No such qualms for Shrewsbury – that was printed in full.)
The scarf was only a fiver and so I bought it. Later at the stadium several Shrewsbury fans asked where I had got it from – there were no barrows of tat on the Emirates concourse where the coaches dropped people off. I was considered lucky to have such a memento.
For me, my half-and-half scarves are mementoes of occasions that aren’t going to be repeated very often. I have two from the Galatasary friendly – an unofficial one bought on the way in, and the official one produced by the Shrewsbury club shop. I also got one for the League Cup game against Chelsea last season.
I don’t really know what to do with them, but that’s kind of the point with mementoes. Like boxes of programmes or World Cup sticker albums they are tangible memories of good times, even though all the scarves I have commemorate defeats for the team I follow. In a way, that feels right. Commemorating victories would be too much like gloating. In terms of holding on to the good times, even the most vigorous hater of half-scarves could possibly concede there is room in any fan’s wardrobe for at least one. Jon Matthias