'Woke brigade wins again': Football club slated for banning war tune over Ukraine invasion

1 April 2022, 10:09

Lincoln City has banned the sound of air raid sirens and the Dam Busters March
Lincoln City has banned the sound of air raid sirens and the Dam Busters March. Picture: Alamy

By Megan Hinton

A football club has come under fire for banning the sound of air raid sirens and the Dam Busters March on match days, branding it "inappropriate" in the wake of the war in Ukraine.

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Lincoln City said it wanted to "strike an appropriate balance" between its heritage and being "socially aware" but fans were left upset by the decision.

Traditionally air-raid sirens would sound by fans every time the club wins a corner kick, but they will now be silenced for the rest of the season.

The theme of the 1955 film The Dam Busters will no longer be played before kick-off.

The football club has been long associated with the tune, which is a nod to the men of 617 Squadron who flew 19 Lancaster bombers from Lincoln on their daring raid to the Ruhr Valley in 1943.

Fans also typically celebrate goals by mimicking the planes with their arms and humming the tune.

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Liam Scully, chief executive of the League One club, said the matter will be reviewed in the summer, recognising the position is "not flawless" and may "polarise views", as he appealed for unity.

Mr Scully wrote: "At the most recent supporters’ board meeting we discussed at length the merits of the air raid sirens we hear before corners at the LNER Stadium and the use of the Dam Busters March, which we play in the build-up to games, in the context of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

"As a club we are very aware of our heritage and wish to ensure we strike an appropriate balance between our long-standing synonymous gestures and actions, along with being socially aware and generally good citizens.

"The supporters' board and I discussed the topic at great length and we collectively concluded it would be appropriate to temporarily suspend the use of the sirens and for the club to stop playing the Dam Busters March for the rest of this season.

"I'm sure everyone has their own opinions on this matter and I fully accept our position is not flawless.

"While I understand this decision may polarise views, could I expressly comment that it is not our intention to divide.

"In the spirit that this decision was made, please could I ask for your support and backing with this conclusion, which was a very challenging matter to navigate?"

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The decision divided fans with some praising the steps the club had taken whilst others berated the move.

One angry Twitter user said: "Lincoln City F.C. have just lost all respect they ever had. What a pathetic call."

Steve Darlow said: "Not sure I agree with this in full. I understand wish to silence air raid siren, but to stop playing the Dambusters March before a game. No.

"The Dams raid was one operation in a campaign intended to liberate Europe from an aggressor. Let the band play on."

Whilst former RAF serviceman Daz Watson raged: "Woke brigade wins again."

Kevin McKeever added: "Not sure residents of Mariupol will take heart from Lincoln's decision to drop Dambusters theme from matches, but in an area with of lot of Ukrainian workers in agricultural sector, agree that blaring out an air ride siren on match day would be tone deaf."