Unauthorised Loyalist Flute Band March at Anfield Investigated

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Anfield Gatecrash by Loyalist Flute Band Sparks Investigation

Liverpool Football Club is currently investigating an incident where a loyalist flute band was seen parading through Anfield. The Glendermott Valley Flute Band from Tullyally, near Derry, was filmed marching through the iconic stadium’s gates, playing an instrumental version of the controversial song, ‘Billy Boys’.

Loyalist Flute Band’s Unauthorised Parade

Footage of the parade shows the band playing a tune that has strong sectarian connotations. ‘Billy Boys’ has been banned from Scottish football grounds and Linfield matches in Northern Ireland due to its offensive lyrics, which include references to “fenian blood”.

A spokesperson from the Derry Official Liverpool Supporters Club spoke to the Irish News, expressing concerns about the band’s presence at Anfield. “As an Irish Catholic Liverpool supporter, the music they were playing was of a sectarian nature. Talking about killing Catholics, up to their knees in fenian blood. Liverpool has a huge Irish following so it’s bound to upset some people,” he stated.

Liverpool FC Responds

Liverpool FC has confirmed that the march was not authorised. “We are aware that a group that (normally) marches around the Anfield area in July, but we were not aware and have not approved this march. We have been informed that this march changes its route each year. Liverpool Football Club did not provide permission for this march to be held on the private property area in Anfield stadium,” the club’s response read.

The club is now investigating the matter from a safety and security perspective and is considering appropriate actions. The spokesperson from the Derry Supporters Club added, “There is an open walkway at Anfield for fans or visitors, but not for a sectarian march regardless of where they’re from.”

Wider Implications

The incident has raised broader concerns about sectarianism in football. The Derry club’s spokesperson drew comparisons to other potential incidents, highlighting the tension such marches could provoke. “I know Liverpool city has a big Orange Order following, but could you imagine an orange march going through Cliftonville’s grounds in Belfast or the Brandywell up in Derry or even a republican march going through Windsor Park? It wouldn’t happen.”

The spokesman also noted that the peaceful atmosphere among fans at Anfield is typically devoid of sectarian tensions. “I go over to Anfield regularly and have protestant friends I would drink with before the games. There’s never any sectarian element at the games like Rangers or Celtic, everybody gets on.”

Awaiting Further Responses

Both Liverpool Football Club and the Glendermott Valley Flute Band have been contacted for further comments. Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the Apprentice Boys of Derry has distanced the organisation from the event, stating they were not formally associated with the band and had no part in the decision to parade through Anfield. The investigation by Liverpool FC is ongoing as they seek to address the safety and security implications of this unexpected and controversial event.

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