Often Partisan

Minutes Applause

The Birmingham Mail reported today on social media efforts to have a minute’s applause during the upcoming match against Preston to mark the passing of seven-year-old Jack Edwards from leukaemia.

I have no doubt that what I’m about to say is going to be massively unpopular with some – but I’ve reached the point whereby I have to say this out loud.

I think a minutes applause is a bad idea. I think it smacks of trying to look good without actually doing good and is a reflection of the social media landscape we live in today, where a click is all that is needed to salve the conscience. I’m a father and I will tell you now, if (God forbid) anything tragic like this was to befall me or my family then I absolutely wouldn’t want this at all.

The more we hold a minutes applause for each tragedy, the less it means. Let’s not do this.

That doesn’t mean we should do nothing though. I do think that things like this transcend football rivalry – after all, we’re all human. We should feel empathy to our fellow human beings and want to do what we can to help.

Rather than applauding like badly trained seals, let’s do something constructive. Something as simple as buckets being shaken before the match for a charity like CLIC Sargent, who offer help and support for young people with cancer and their families. It won’t help the family of Jack that much sadly, but what it might do is help other families going through the same thing.

If things were different I’d be doing this differently. My work commitments are insane right now, and I’m moving abroad again next month. If I could do this myself, I wouldn’t be talking about it – I’d be doing it. But as it is, I can’t – and I have to ask if someone out there will be the point man. What I can offer is to link people together who want to help, and to promote anything that people are able to do that is constructive.

I’d also say this is a good chance for some of the fan groups like Blues Collective or the Trust to maybe step up to the plate.

If anyone wants to do something constructive – my email address is almajir@oftenpartisan.co.uk. Let’s prove Blues fans have some class about them – and do something that actually makes a difference rather than just looks good for the Sky cameras.

Edit – Brian Dick has confirmed on Twitter that the family of Jack Edwards are touched by the idea of a minute’s applause as tribute.

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42 Responses to “Minutes Applause”

  • Vic Curnin says:

    The @Bradleysfight appeal #justonepound #keepitgoing text BRAD02 £1 to 70070 to give a little boy life saving treatment in USA . Surely most people can spare £1

  • Dave Mann says:

    Could not agree more , public and in front of the cameras shows nothing , it’s just us being ‘ nice ‘ and that does not work .. Behind the scenes YES of course because this young soldier battled to the very end and it’s certainly got my attention .. Jack , you supported the wrong team but your supported by all Blues fans who have any feelings what so ever .. RIP young man , sad loss ! KRO

  • Adam says:

    I agree with your viewpoint and raising cash at the game would be of more use to help prevent further deaths.

    If we *don’t* do a minutes applause we’ll be branded ignorant and uncaring. You however make a very valid point again about the applause, it seems to be every week there’s silence or applause for someone or something and it does dilute the sentiment. It’s something I’ve often thought privately and I’m glad I’m not alone.

    Why not do both? Stand up and clap if you’ve chucked a couple of quid in a bucket. Shows we’re a caring and respectful club who want to make a change and stops any false accusations of not caring.

    Good luck with organising something suitable

    • WayCoolBlue says:

      I agree Why not do both? Yong children should not have to suffer in this day and age and we and all can do are part in preventing this sort of thing. what’s a £1 from one supporter nothing. But it’s like 20k from all supporters with just Birmingham alone. Really all clubs across the contrary should do this not just when thing happen but on a regular basis.

    • almajir says:

      If someone thinks me uncaring for not applauding when I’m told to, then that’s their problem, not mine.

      I believe in actions, not words and I believe in doing things because they are good, not because they are seen to look good.

      • Adam says:

        Again, agreed. Trouble is, it doesn’t take much to escalate not doing applause into “Blues fans didn’t clap and then they all came round my house and stuck a bat up my mum’s nightie”.

        Applause and silence at games really should be reserved for former players or similar but when people think hashtags will solve world hunger we end up clapping because the local lollipop lady has a cold.

        No disrespect to the young lad and his family of course. As others have said, ask his family.

  • Rob says:

    If Blues weren’t organising this, I wouldn’t have heard about the child that’s passed away, their family, or CLIC Sargent. You’re missing the point of these things.

    • almajir says:

      I’m not though Rob.

      Firstly, it wasn’t Blues organising this – it was some fans on FB. The club have not been involved yet to my knowledge.

      Secondly … this word “awareness” is horrible. We’re all aware of cancer. We’ve all no doubt been touched by it in some way or another. Being “aware” of it doesn’t do much though – I’d rather people did things to help the fight against it; donated their money and/or time to worthy causes. Same as any other charity tbf.

      As I said, I know it’s a sensitive subject but I have to say what I believe – that’s what OP is – my opinions…

      • Rob says:

        You’ve just imposed what you wanted to hear onto my comment.

        I said nothing about raising awareness of cancer, it’s inappropriate to suggest I was. My point is this minutes applause would specifically make me aware of one charity in particular.

        I would advocate doing a minute applause or silence in conjunction with a fund raising effort… If that’s what the family wanted. You’re assuming they wouldn’t because that’s how you feel, blues fans are assuming they do. Somebody should probably ask them.

        • almajir says:

          No, the applause didn’t make you aware of that charity – I did…

          And I didn’t assume that the family didn’t want this – I merely said I wouldn’t. You’re imposing what you want to read on my comments fella.

          I would think that if it’s been in the press the Birmingham Mail may have been in touch to check it’s okay to publish.

  • 1covbluenose says:

    We should do both, let’s not forget Help Harry Help Others, another very brave young man who sadly lost his life, I really believe an applause coupled with a big push on donations would be fitting to these brave young people. Both sets of supporters should collect together before the game, and we should have collectors at half time, then give the money raised to HHHO and a charity of the choice of this youngsters parents.

  • 1covbluenose says:

    That was or might still be the official charity blues support, it helps other families and young people with support and respite. It’s one of the many good causes that the money could go too, it was only a suggestion of a local charity run by the parent of a young blues supporter, for me an obvious choice but it’s only my small humble suggestion.

  • WayCoolBlue says:

    Well it is fitting to do that They help families you can read all about it here https://www.justgiving.com/hhho/Donate

  • oldburyblue says:

    You are braver than me in expressing your opinion Dan. Some will agree and some will not. If it does no more than make people think, you have done a good job……again.

  • Dough says:

    We can show support by DOING BOTH. This is a young lad we are all commenting on. If you feel you don’t want to clap for a minute, it’s simple don’t. Let’s hope most fans feel that clapping is a way of showing we care.

  • WayCoolBlue says:

    I fort he was a Chelsea Supporter But who he supported is ever here nor there. All that matters is the chatty helps the females of the victims of Cancer and bran tumours.it Helps the females thigh’s who are forgotten about in the aftermath. the parents the siblings of Jack Edwards can benefit from their help and support wither that be money to pay bills or someone to talk to.

  • ChrisG says:

    If fans want to do a minutes applause at a certain point during the game that’s up to them, but i’ve never been in favour of doing it just before kick off. Last season it seemed as though we were doing this every other week & tbh it all gets a bit too much. Incidently I think it’s extremly bad taste anyway to stand there applauding that someone has died rather than doing a minutes silence as a mark of respect. What Dan says about doing a collection for charity is a pretty good idea imo.

  • Teerev says:

    People die every day.Sad but true.
    As a society,we have lost the plot.Every day a Just giving page will pop up for something or other and we will rend our hair,moan how sad it is yet don’t even notice the neighbour that suffers and dies alone.
    Any death is sad.Yet as a people,we don’t even notice those around us,but will happily “put a £1 in” or clap,for someone we have never met.

  • JbfromOz says:

    Im a father of a daughter with Leaukaemia.
    She was diagnosed at the age of 2 and was given the last rights on 2 occasions.
    We were away from home some 2000 miles when we told the news.
    It was the start of a 5 year nightmare.
    My wife deserves a medal…she raised hundreds of thousands of dollars and ran a genuine charity for the last 20 years only relinquishing her role recently.
    My daughter so far has survived..we dont know how…the Oncologists tell us she is a miracle.

  • Mitchell says:

    This is a topic that should be left to each and everyone’s personal business and thoughts. Charity donations,personal endeavours,time spent helping others etc. are deeds done within each person without the outward show for whatever reason. I am sure many,many bloggers on this site do their bit for good causes-many probably do a great deal that they would never want disclosed. This particular topic of a sad life lost will touch everybody in different ways and imo each individual will decide themselves how best to help with whatever cause they feel. Silence,clapping and buckets being rattled for contributions may make for the occasion but in the broader view it is what actions people do on a regular basis -whether financially or with their precious time that counts. Yes Daniel I agree that you prefer actions etc and I am sure people reading this already exercise this and have been for many years.

  • DaveP says:

    OK, I feel I need to have a rant, not at you Dan cos you do sterling work and your point is one I wholeheartedly agree with. Unfortunately social media tries to raise awareness by making it painfully apparent how ignorant most people are. These days most people are glued to the little screen in front of their face. How many of these people pass by the charity buckets on the high street or in the Bull Ring every day because they’re too busy uploading duckface pictures to Facebook? It seems people only give a $h*t about something if it’s on social media so they can pretend they care by clicking a “like” button or similar..

    Put the phone down, look around you and do something for charity by getting out and doing it. I’m sure it would open the eyes of thousands and be more beneficial, especially for the younger generation, instead of clicking a button or doing the happy hand clap until you get bored.

  • Bluenosesol says:

    My grandparents and older family moved to the suburbs as a result of the Aston slum clearances. We are all brummies. I recall when I used to go to the derby’s in the 60’s that families of Blues and Villa attended the match together and you would see knitted scarves half claret and blue and half blue and white to show that they were cross allegiance brummie families. Blood related rivals who could actually stand next to each other on the terraces. The minute’s applause wont bring the beautiful little Jack back but it will give comfort to his family and will help to dissipate the pure hatred that emanates in the ground at such events, resulting in hooliganism, damage to the stadium, flares and worse. RIP Jack and I pray that your memory serves to restore the family values which used to bond us all together.

    • WayCoolBlue says:

      My Dad is a Villa fan. I talk to him LOL. Had he taken me as a kid to the games I to may have been a Villa fan yuk!! But he didn’t he didn’t even take him self very often my uncle on my mums side did but he was a massive Blues Fan/Supporter thank God for him he started taking me and my brothers I was 6 years old 2 brothers younger. I have a lot of friends that are Villa fans wolves and West Brom. I talk to them also LOL we even go out for drinks. Some fends that are Villa fans are meeting with me for drinks B4 the big Derby Game. I imagine lots of us have friends the are Villa fans. What ether is dune to respect Jack shows we are all just people at the end of the day.

      • Dave Mann says:

        ???? Yeah your right WayCoolBlue of course you are , we all have colleagues or friends that support the vile and other clubs but you know what mate it’s nice to LOL at them when talking to them because we are the special ones ( sorry Jose ) KRO … Along with young Jack of course . RIP

  • royinamillion says:

    Dan. I have to agree with you on this point. I have a disabled child and and am a Governor at her school. Too often and one is too often the school loses a child because of a disability and the sadness is indescribable. When one of our kids passed away this year the kids, teachers, parents etc all released a balloon with his name on it It was poignant, sad but reflected how we all felt at that time. Maybe this idea would be an alternative.

    • ChrisG says:

      Roy I take my hat off to you mate I really do, you must have one of the most difficult jobs in the world. Releasing balloons is a great idea, especially when it’s kids, the only problem with that though is they are a bit unpredictable and releasing them in the stadium half of them could end up on the pitch.

  • Trevor says:

    I think this is a wider issue than raising funds or awareness for a worthy cause. This is a chance for both sides of the city to show support for a common good. Perhaps we can then be remembered for a city where there is rivalry, but it is a friendly rivalry. I am of course referring to the impending local derby where i fear we will make the headlines for the wrong reasons again. What a bereavement reminds you is that there are some things more important than our beloved game.

  • AndyJ says:

    Its a nice gesture but is a minutes applause appropriate considering the circumstances? i would certainly back the idea of having a charity day in memory of the poor guy and the family and maybe having the lads name on the matchday ball and then get all the players to sign it from both sides and have it auctioned to raise further proceeds? or even get the players to wear commemorative t-shirts in the warm up or when they come out onto the pitch?

  • Dreaming on says:

    This act was in my opinion an attempt at simple human kindness and compassion towards fellow brummies who have lost their precious child. I really hope bluenoses everywhere ignore your advice to refrain from taking part and applaud loud and proud to remember this little lad. And of course you can give to an appropriate charity if you so wish. Your article tonight is really poor in my opinion and shows a lack of class and basic respect.

    • almajir says:

      You’re entitled to those views – but you’re wrong if you think I lack respect. I think there is more to respecting someone’s memory than applause at a football match…

  • Bluegirl says:

    Sadly there are many young children/people who pass away each week from such awful diseases, children whom we never get to hear about. I’m sad to hear about Jack, and I fully understand that it is a nice gesture, but Jack was a keen Villa fan and perhaps it should ‘stay in the family’ so to speak. The Villa fans will mark the occasion as one of theirs although, of course, he was a member of the wider football family so I can understand why it has been suggested. I’m sure Blues fans would donate to a bucket shake or other such collection which would go to finding a cure for the benefit of many others, but, as has been said previously, it will dilute the overall feeling sooner or later, and what if some fans start booing because of the team he supported? There are some numpties out there and it could happen and that would be dreadful. Sad as it is, I don’t think we should be doing an applause on this occasion, sorry. RIP Jack. x

  • Dave Mann says:

    Absolutely class post !! Bluegirl that’s as good as it gets . KRO

  • Andrew says:

    I give to charities that merit that for what I thinks important, I don’t ever take others views unless they have a point I can relate to, same as I don’t say anything unless it needs to be or something I see. Clapping is just an easy gesture to signal an event until some other bright spark idea that becomes flavour

  • Steve in Yorkshire says:

    Well said Dan! Can of worms well and truly opened, but I am very frustrated by the world we live in where people feel the need to be so public about things to prove they care. I can’t stand a minute’s applause as it is and much preferred the meaningful minute’s silence on the rarer occasions when they did occur.

    As I always say, where do we draw the line if we start having minute’s applauses and clapping in a certain minute in the memory of some other sad event?

    The old fashioned buckets will probably do much more than a few ‘likes’ on Facebook.

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