Katie Price

For the first time in my life, I felt unwelcome at a North London derby

The antisemitism that we all know has been festering erupted onto me


LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 15: General view outside the stadium prior to the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal FC at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on January 15, 2023 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

January 16, 2023 18:13

The North London derby. A bi-annual event that punctuates the year for fans of Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur, The Metropolitan Police and anyone who owns a hospitality business from Highbury to High Barnet. Usually, the police patrol the relevant stadium, clamping down on antisocial behaviour and ensuring everyone can get to and from the game safely.

As a lifelong Arsenal fan, I know full well how bitter these games can get. A balmy afternoon in May 2022 left tears salty enough to start a Ma Nishtana across the diaspora.

This Sunday was our away fixture. Spurs at The Lane. Not feeling like selling my organs to raise the £600 for an away ticket, some friends and I decided to go to a well-known Arsenal pub, The Cally, on Pentonville Road, wearing Arsenal shirts, in the company of around 50 other Arsenal fans. The atmosphere was great, 2-0 up with three minutes to go. The stuff of dreams.

I then heard the ever-familiar ‘what do we think of Tottenham...’ chant. To which I happily obliged, the memories of May 2022 flashing before me.

What I did not expect was the conclusion of the chant with ‘Yiddo, Yiddo, Yiddo’. I decided, to my shame, to ignore it and hope they wouldn’t say it again. Within 30 seconds, around 10 men were chanting ‘yiddo’ repeatedly, with more folk from the pub joining in.

At that point, I had to say something. I walked over and said ‘look, don’t use that last bit’ and walked away. Not asking, telling. He then came back with another mate who, within seconds of finding out I am Jewish shouted the ever familiar ‘You dirty f*****g yid’.

A fight then broke out, with them all repeatedly threatening to beat my friends and I up. Chants of ‘Yid’ erupted and ‘she’s a yid in an Arsenal shirt’ before the ever pleasant ‘I’ll f*****g come for you, dirty yid’. After stepping aside to calm down, we were told to leave the pub. Shocked, I told the manager, who almost certainly had bigger fish to fry what had happened.

‘No, get out.’ we were told, with the manager no doubt thinking it'd be easier to tell us to get out than a large group of drunk men. We left the Cally with chants of ‘Off you go, Yiddo’, from most of the pub's drinkers. We walked past the window, and I burst into tears, my adrenaline levels reaching new heights.

In my 26 years, I’ve genuinely never felt like that before. It was anarchic, a state of utter mob rule overtook and the antisemitism that we know has been festering erupted. The vision of a whole pub full of, largely, men in their 40s attacking a 26-year-old Jewish woman and winning, is a stain on the city I’ve called home my whole life.

They obviously won’t win. This incident has, of course, been reported to all the proper channels, The Met, The CST, and Kickitout. But, I implore you, JC reader, to call out this behaviour wherever it is safe to do so. It’s never worth your life but, where you feel it’s safe to do so, you’ll never regret standing up to hate and bigotry.

READ MORE: Arsenal slams 'grossly offensive antisemitic statements' from fans during derby

January 16, 2023 18:13

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