When I was younger, I was joint Manager of a youth football team in Southwark with Labour MP Clive Efford – of course, neither of us was an MP then, but we did try to keep up good standards of behaviour and particularly with the referee. Of course, this is not always easy with young players and the passion football generates. Later, I used to watch my son playing youth football for Royston Eagles and although our Royston parents were well-behaved, I did notice that some teams – naturally from outside North East Herts – had very difficult parents shouting and swearing on the touchline and setting a terrible example. Some were even openly rude to the ref. Now this may be standard fare at some grounds, but it has no place in youth football and I do think some senior teams could do a lot better.
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