Dam Busters March suspended on football match days to protest Ukraine conflict



The Dam Busters March and use of air raid sirens have been suspended by a football club on match days in response to the conflict in Ukraine.

Lincoln City said it wanted to “strike an appropriate balance” between its heritage and being “socially aware and generally good citizens.”

An air raid siren is often heard at the club’s Sincil Bank stadium when the Imps are attacking at corners while the Dam Busters March has been played before kick-off.

Liam Scully, chief executive of the League One club, said neither would be used for the rest of the season at the LNER Stadium, but the matter will be reviewed in the summer.

I have acknowledged the position is “not flawless” and may “polarize views”, but appealed for unity.

The song was the theme to the 1955 war film, The Dam Busters, which focuses on Operation Chastise.

This saw 617 Squadron carry out a night of raids on German dams in 1943 in an effort to disable Adolf Hitler’s industrial heartland.

Lincolnshire also became known as Bomber County for the role it played during the Second World War.

A supporters’ group for the club was formed in 2011 and named 617 Squadron, with their aim to boost the atmosphere at Lincoln games.

Mr Scully, in an update to supporters, wrote: “At the most recent supporters’ board meeting we discussed at length the merits of the air raid sirens we hear before corners at the LNER Stadium and the use of the Dam Busters March, which we play in the build-up to games, in the context of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

“As a club we are very aware of our heritage and wish to ensure we strike an appropriate balance between our long-standing synonymous gestures and actions, along with being socially aware and generally good citizens.

“The supporters’ board and I discussed the topic at great length and we collectively concluded it would be appropriate to temporarily suspend the use of the sirens and for the club to stop playing the Dam Busters March for the rest of this season.

“I’m sure everyone has their own opinions on this matter and I fully accept our position is not flawless.

“While I understand this decision may polarize views, I could expressly comment that it is not our intention to divide.

“In the spirit that this decision was made, please could I ask for your support and backing with this conclusion, which was a very challenging matter to navigate?

“Can I be clear that there is a commitment to reviewing this decision in the close season and we will communicate further on this matter following our summer review?”

In 2009, supporters voted to keep the Dam Busters March as the club’s anthem in a newspaper and website poll.

The song comfortably beat Jeff Beck’s Hi Ho Silver Lining and Blitzkrieg Bop by The Ramones.

City supporter Alex Webber, 36, from Lincoln, said: “Personally I don’t think that playing the Dam Busters March is disrespectful, I believe the club should look at reinstating our anthem before the matches and in the second half when the teams come out.

“I can understand not using the air raid siren due to the ongoing bombing that’s continuing in Ukraine and how that would make people feel.”


www.telegraph.co.uk

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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