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An admirable goal

FOOTBALL, despite its recent trials and tribulations, financial and otherwise, is still the people's game; and while it thrives on rivalry, it also has an abiding capacity to unite.

As a new touring photographic exhibition, The Colour of Our Scarves, illustrates, it gives thousands of people up and down the land a common cause every matchday - to cheer on their team.

The initiative, says Paul Goodwin, head of Supporters Direct in Scotland, aims to emphasise to the supporter base that all fans are just the same - it is "just the colours of our scarves that are different". The exhibition, involving 200 candid photographs from grounds across Scotland, demonstrates that a fan goes through the same emotions on a matchday no matter what colours he wears, whether it's standing on the terracing at Cliftonhill, Coatbridge, or sitting in the top tier at Ibrox stadium - to a man, woman and child they can identify with the supporter who is pictured throwing his crutches in the air when his team scores.

The aim is to break down the barriers of sectarianism. It is to be hoped the final whistle can soon be blown on that particular blight.

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