Tuesday, 9 March 2010


Everton Tigers basketball team created a little bit of sporting history. Their match against Newcastle was the first time I have seen a clipboard used in a mass demonstration as a symbol of derision.

Clipboards of course are familiar at sports events. In my experience they are usually used as a hostile weapons by parking attendants. They appear when you roll up at some farflung sporting outpost, late and stressed. Stopping you at the entrance to the car park, ensuring that your car is obstructing passing traffic, the grumpy gateman will flourish his clipboard ostentatiously, scrutinise it like Fergie and his wristwatch, and then announce that my name isn't on the list.

At the Tigers game clipboards were brandished with even more enthusiasm than this. These were inside the arena, held up by supporters. They didn't quite have the impact of scarlet flares at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome but they did make their presence felt.

It turned out that one of the Newcastle players, with the enviable name of Fabulous, had got into trouble for seizing a coach's clipboard and throwing it into the crowd. So the Tigers fans taunted him with stationery. All good fun. Unfortunately it didn't distract Fabulous and co from winning the game.

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