Football hooligans would rather HUG than fight, study finds | The Sun

FOOTBALL thugs would rather hug than fight, a study has found.

The most violent supporters rate helping fellow fans — even opponents — as more important than thumping rivals.

Researcher Dr Martha Newson claims the most die-hard supporters are “fused” to their team and build their personality around it.

Fused fans were much more likely to have been in fights.

But the same people were also most likely to give to charity, offer a lift or hug someone who is upset.

This was true regardless of which side the other person supported — and was ranked as more important than starting a bust-up or fuelling match day tensions.

Dr Newson, of Oxford University, said the fans only wanted to do what was best for their club — even if that meant fighting for it against rival firms, as seen in films such as Green Street with Elijah Wood.

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She added: “These findings challenge some of the long-standing myths and stereotypes about football ‘hooligans’ in the UK.

“The most hostile and violent people were also the ones who wanted to help rivals and other fans the most.”

Dr Newson, who quizzed 500 fans, added: “Passionate football fans can have a positive impact at games, not only on fellow fans but also with fans of rival teams.”

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