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Orient fans join Swansea Demo (October 2001)
8/5/2003

by Jess Slack

In early October Tony Petty flew in from Australia, bought Swansea City for a 1. On the 10th of October he fired half the senior squad and offered the rest vastly reduced terms, before flying back to Australia.

Many Fans' Trusts and supporters' groups pledged support to the Swans Trust (which unsurprisingly, saw its membership soar when the news was announced). LOFT was one of these, and the fact that we were due to play Swansea 10 days after this news was announced gave us the idea to show our support in a more active way. We soon found out that there was a demo planned for the Saturday we were playing there, and we contacted Richard Lillicrap of the Swans Trust, to see how we could help. He invited us to join in the demo with and to bring a banner. LOFT media rep Rory MacQueen volunteered to produce a banner.

First Great Western did its level best to prevent us getting there on time, but eventually we managed to meet up with some of the guys from the Swans Trust, who brought us to the town centre where the rally was just beginning. They were very keen to have our banner near the front of the march. (Click here to see the full version of the thumbnail above, which shows LOFT members Rory (on the right) and Aidan Taylor (on the left - you can just see his arm!) holding it high. Picture reproduced with kind permission of Phil Sumbler of www.jackarmy.net)

The match itself was pretty dull by comparison, in fact, the banner was very much the highlight of it. We kept raising it during dull moments (of which there were many), and each time we did it, we were greeted with applause and the slightly surreal sound of "we love you Orient, we do" from the Swans. They didn't resent us even when we nicked a win in the 90th minute! Many Swans fans shook our hands after the match, and the banner received a lot of coverage in the local press.

I was really moved at several points during the day by the whole "Fans United" experience. One of the reasons I got involved in LOFT was because I was concerned at the injustices at other clubs, and it was good to feel that I as part of LOFT was actually doing something to help




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