The future of football? It’s time to take a stand against sitting down

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THE CALL to introduce standing sections at the Stadium of Light couldn’t have been better timed … I’ve done my back in.

 Santa’s gift to me for Christmas was chronic back pain. He didn’t gift-wrap it, he just left it there under the Christmas tree, really low down, so it hurt to pick it up.

Sunderland fans celebrate the Boxing day win over Manchester City at the Stadium of Light. Wouldn't they have enjoyed it more on a hammock?

Sunderland fans celebrate the Boxing day win over Manchester City at the Stadium of Light. Wouldn't they have enjoyed it more on a hammock?

 Actually, to be fair, the back problem’s been there since the summer, but Christmas appears to have cranked up the pain.

 Drugs do little, the physio has had no impact, even the amusing sight of my wife in her leopard-print onesie could lift my spirits only temporarily.

 Ah, the onesie. Is it not the gift of the year? Last Christmas it was the Snuggie, this year the onesie.

 I’m thinking of bringing out a twosie for next year. The threesie would be in the shops by 2014, with a cheeky TV promotion and the slogan: “As worn by the Human Caterpillar.” This time next year Rodney, we’ll be millionaires.”

 If they brought out an all-in-one suit, shirt and tie office onesie, I’d be first in the queue.

 Honestly, with my back as it is, anything that negates the battle of putting on socks in the morning would be a bonus.

 Houdini made less fuss of escaping from a straight-jacket than I do putting on my socks first thing.

 Which is why I would back the calls for all-standing football stadiums. Using seats is just too painful at the moment.

 I eat standing up, watch telly standing up, I even sit down standing up.

 The standing at football games argument, my back apart, is one I can’t quite fathom. It’s like these people want to stand throughout a game just because at the moment they aren’t allowed to.

 “Why can’t I stand throughout the game? I’ve paid my £25.”

 I believe it’s because the people behind you can’t see.

 Rather than see it as an advancement of the game, they see being asked to sit down as an infringement of their civil liberties.

 Who is making this call for all-standing stadiums? I’ll wager the majority of these campaigners are six foot two or taller … and under 40. Maybe I’m wrong.

 Standing at football games is a young man’s game. A young man likes the hurly burly of packed crowd, shouting at the top of his lungs, and leaping about with five pints in his belly, a Bovril in one hand and a pie in the other.

 A young man also thinks nothing of urinating where he stands rather than fight his way to the toilets.

 I was a regular at all-standing stadiums in the Eighties and early Nineties. Poor for your view of the game, but great for your calf muscles, since half the game involved standing on your tippy toes to get a glimpse of the action over the shoulder of the six foot three meathead who would decide that a spot right in front of you about three seconds before the ref blew to start the game was a perfect place for him to stand (not that I’m bitter, of course).

 And they want to bring those days back! Are these same people calling for all-standing areas at the cinema too? “Yeah, you can’t beat the atmosphere of standing throughout a James Bond movie.” Why don’t they go the whole hog and demand a singing section at the local multiplex? “One Jimmy Bondsy, there’s only one Jimmy Bondsy.” (Or Bozza, as they’d call him, loudly, throughout).

 Personally, when it comes to standing at football games, I think we should go the other way and introduce all lying down stadiums. Far more comfortable.

 Forget foldy-down plastic seating, bring in all-hammock stadia. Now that would be progress. Do I have any supporters?

l Are you 5ft 2ins tall, over 50, and desperate to see the standing terraces return? No, didn’t think so, then why not back Richard’s all-hammock stadium idea.

 Tweet your support to @DickyO, email him at, or write to the usual address, not forgetting to include your name, address and enclosing a packet of Naproxen painkillers.