Britain loves football. Britain also loves blow up toys. When the two meet you get a beautiful game featuring giant yellow bananas at Manchester City, whole stands of fake supporters and an entire city of floating Spanish donkeys.
It all began on 15th August 1987 with a giant banana. Manchester City fan Frank Newton borrowed the five foot yellow inflatable from a toy collector mate and rocked up to Maine Road for the first game of the season against Plymouth Argyle. Unable to pronounce player Imre Varadi’s name, City fans started charting ‘Imre Banana’ and a phenomenon was born – soon the bananas were everywhere.
By the start of the 1988/89 season the inflatables craze had blown up. Stoke City had their pink panthers, Oldham fans dogs, at Grimsby there was a load of fish and West Ham were waving giant hammers. Spectators were even turning up at the turnstiles carrying children’s dinghies and airbeds. Of course, no one actually got to see any of the football because of these giant obstructions and by the end of the season the blow up bubble had burst. (Inflatable Banana photo by Kevin Cummins)
Sabotage Times writers have been writing about What Britain Loves for TMobile. You can read the likes of Lucy Sweet, Tom Greaney, Tom Law, Dave Lee and many others at the link above.
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