“What are the most random football rivalries and why?” wonders Julie Ferriston.
“Gillingham would consider their main rivals to be Swindon Town,” begins Michael Pilcher. “It’s odd when you consider there are more than 120 miles between the teams. When I take friends to Priestfield and the anti-Swindon chants come out, I always have to explain the rivalry. It started with some bad-tempered games in 1979 and some perceived dodgy refereeing and gamesmanship from Town’s Ray McHale helping Swindon overturn a 2-0 deficit. Legend has it that Gills goalscorer Danny Westwood was the victim of a horrific tackle, only to be red-carded while prone for ‘abusive language’; a Gills fan then ran on to knock out the referee. In the return fixture at Swindon (3-1 to the home side), there were more McHale shenanigans and another Gills red card. A post-match tunnel fracas resulted in two Gills players appearing in court, though they were later acquitted. The Gills missed out on promotion by one point, and a long-distance rivalry began.” This offers further explanation.
Source: Football News
Link : What are the most random football rivalries and why? | The Knowledge