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Pride beats this ugliness hands down

A personal view
A personal view

I could write 450 words on how hooliganism has once again blotted the beautiful game.

Or I could write 450 words on a homophobic terrorist attack in a place associated with fun and love.

In fact, I could probably write 4,000 words on the events in Marseille and Orlando, both shocking but for very different reasons.

But instead I am going to try and enjoy the Euro 2016 football tournament with my young family in the hope that the action on the pitch masks some of the videos of violence off it – ones that send a shiver through my very core and place a ugly stain on football once more.

And when it comes to another act of terror, another example of gun crime in America and this time a homophobic one, I am going to leave it others who can explain things so much better.

To name but two, Guardian columnist Owen Jones and Bury Free Press’ own Paul Derrick who wrote a fantastic blog on the events in Orlando. I urge you all to take the time to read it.

So what can I write about after such a grim weekend?

Fortunately, it was not all unbearable tales of suffering and fear. It was also a weekend for celebrating a special birthday – that of our very own Queen.

A 90th birthday and a monarch to be proud of. The rain may have come down – leading to a memorable photo of our Queen peering out of the window to get a forecast - but some much-needed sunlight came from how the nation celebrated.

My family and I found ourselves in Clare who held their very own party in the park – and a joyous one it was too. It was a welcome break and a chance to celebrate all the good things about this country.

I can only speak for my experiences in a wonderful market town that I used to call home.

But I know if I had gone to Southgate Community Centre or York Road, Barton Mills or Hartest, I would have had the same sense of enjoyment and same feeling of pride.

Having organised similar events in the past, I know how much hard work goes into planning and running such occasions, and usually by volunteers. I congratulate you all on fantastic afternoons across West Suffolk.

The events to celebrate the Queen’s 90th birthday were an ideal opportunity to bring communities together and simply have some fun.

The pride in this country continued when thousands of people were united in solidarity at a vigil in Soho a little more than a day after the horrors in Orlando.

It is a shame a minority of our football fans, and also those of other countries, could not show the same unity.


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