Monday, July 30, 2018

Enthusiasm in Sheffield (1935)

Sheffield Wednesday captain Ronnie Starling with the FA Cup.
From the July 1935 issue of the Socialist Standard

Some four months ago the unemployed of Sheffield demonstrated against the new scales of relief introduced by the Unemployment Assistance Board. The protest, from righteous indignation, became a riotous proceeding. The police intervened and used their batons to gain control of the crowd. Many of the demonstrators were injured. Arrests were made and police court charges followed.

In the afternoon of Monday, April 29th, 1935, the centre of Sheffield was filled with an excited crowd of people. Workers from factories, shops and offices. Scores of thousands of them. Also workers with no work at all.

Coats and caps were bedecked with “colours.” Despite the crush, the utmost good humour prevailed; laughter greeted witty sallies; popular songs were sung.

As the appointed moment approached, the excitement became more intense. Everyone was tip-toe with expectancy. At last the waiting was over. The Heroes of the Hour were here. Sheffield almost rocked at the tremendous outburst of cheering.

Had the workers won a great concession? Had some new, far-reaching and hardly-fought-for reform been granted to them? Had the revolution come?

By no means. Sheffield Wednesday had returned from London with “The Cup.”

If one had a cynical mind one might suggest that football has uses other than to provide the players with exercise.
L. W.

1 comment:

imposs1904 said...

"If one had a cynical mind one might suggest that football has uses other than to provide the players with exercise."

If one had a cynical mind one might suggest that L.W. was a Sheffield United supporter. I feel his or her pain. I'v always preferred the Blades over the Owls.

PS- The SPGB had a branch in Sheffield in 1935, so there is a strong possibility that 'L.W.' was a member of Sheffield branch.