A couple of months ago, fans within the non league community were left shocked after finding out that Eastbourne Town had destroyed banners made by their supporters.
The ultras named ‘Pier Pressure’ revealed that the Southern Combination Premier Division side got rid of them because they were ‘too political’.
Their Twitter post read: “Disappointed to learn that the club has destroyed a number of our banners they have deemed to be ‘too political’ without consulting us or allowing us to keep the banners in question #RIPbanners ?”
Disappointed to learn that the club has destroyed a number of our banners they have deemed to be ‘too political’ without consulting us or allowing us to keep the banners in question #RIPbanners ? pic.twitter.com/72cE6n0d5o
— Pier Pressure (@TownUltras) September 23, 2019
Now, what makes this club’s particular fanbase so brilliant is that they make football welcome to all.
They stand out due to their loud and dramatic support for the level of football their side play at, but also run various initiatives through the club, such as collections for Eastbourne Foodbank and a fundraising scheme for the Kick Racism Out Of Football campaign. All the while maintaining an anti-racist, anti-homophobic, anti-sexist and anti-violence stance.
Fans have an unofficial singing section and no matter where they go, you’re likely to hear them banging drums and even bringing a saxophonist to games.
They protest against the hooligan stereotype, one member of the group says: “We wanted to show that football should be for everybody, where everyone feels welcome and not scared to go, not worried that they’ll face racist or homophobic chanting.”
It’s common to hear anti-Tory songs sang by the Pier Pressure, though it hasn’t always sat well with the club’s older supporters.
Another fan from the ultras group said: “At first, they probably freaked out, but now they’ve come to like it,” says Maud’s friend, Balrog, 28. “We always say hello and have a little chat. It’s important to be respectful to them. They can support in their way and we can support in our way.”
“A lot of people are really old and don’t want a bass drum in their ear for 90 minutes. But I remember last year this old lady asked: ‘Have you got the drums today?’ I said we did, and she said: ‘Good for you’.”
Oh! Eastbourne Town is Wonderful is a film from @TownUltras that profiles Pier Pressure, an ultras group that fanatically support Eastbourne Town FC.
Fans at Eastbourne took the decision to support their local team, passionately. Very passionately.
Give it a watch. It's good. pic.twitter.com/r8c8CDbEJu
— MUNDIAL (@MundialMag) November 6, 2019
They can occasionally get in trouble with the club over flares, smoke bombs and stickers, though despite this, Eastbourne Town also accept that the fans brings something unique and have even asked members of Pier Pressure to design match programmes, maintain the club website and help out with social media in the past.
The side’s manager, John Lambert, once said: “The fans have really helped us, especially on the away games. They create a real party atmosphere and the players love it.”
So now we know all of this, you can see why fans are left downbeat at the club suddenly removing certain banners created by their supporters.
It hasn’t been revealed which ones but some to have featured in the group’s Twitter post are: a Catalonia flag, one on the NHS not being for sale, another says ‘Burn The Sun’, and a gay pride flag.
Fans were left disappointed after finding out that Eastbourne Town had destroyed banners made by their supporters for being ‘too political’ – see how social media users hit back on the next page.