U's fan raises the flag - in Ipswich

A DIE-hard Colchester United fan has made a cheeky statement by raising the flag of his beloved U's in plain view of Portman Road.

A DIE-hard Colchester United fan has made a cheeky statement by raising the flag of his beloved U's in plain view of Portman Road.

Defiant site manager, Steve, is flying his club's colours right in the heart of Ipswich as demolition experts CDC bring down the town's old Civic Centre, floor by floor, to make way for a multi-million pound retail complex.

But Steve says it's all a bit of banter aimed at his team's footballing neighbours.

Steve, a season ticket holder at the Community Stadium, remarked: “It's just friendly rivalry. There seems to be a bit more rivalry from our fans than Ipswich fans.

“It's a bit like when contractors were building our new stadium - as soon one stand had been built, they put a Scotland flag up!”

CDC have been a presence in Civic Drive for the last four months but Steve decided to raise the flag ahead of Town's home clash against Wolves.

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It did the trick, as the Blues limped to a 2-0 defeat, but couldn't stop Colchester's exit from the League Cup, at the hands of Ipswich, a few days later.

Steve, who lives in Colchester, said: “I was going to put it up anyway but the cup match seemed as good a reason as any.

“I've got a few Town-supporting friends who can see it from their offices, so there's a bit of joking that goes on between us.

“It's going to stay there as we take each floor down but I'll remove it when it gets too low in case someone climbs up and pinches it.

“We're a Suffolk based company but my managing director doesn't seem to have a problem with it being there - at least not for now.”

Steve even had a few words to say about the Tractor Boys' latest goal-scoring acquisition and ex-Colchester star, Kevin Lisbie.

He said: “Lisbie's a good player and I'm sure he'll score a few goals for Town. We got him for nothing and we were happy to get a few quid when we sold him.”

Steve's antics have certainly raised a smile among supporters - but the reaction could well have been different if he happened to be a Norwich fan!

Steve's flag raising gag is all in good fun, but here are a couple of symbolic gestures that didn't go down so well:

In 1998 Gazza mimed playing a flute during an Old Firm match at Celtic Park.

The invisible instrument represented the flute-playing of Orange Order marchers.

He was fined £20,000 by Rangers and also received death threats from the IRA.

Graeme Souness must take title for the most outrageous display of loyalty, when he was manager of Turkish side Galatasaray.

After Dean Saunders had won his team the Istanbul derby, the ecstatic Souness grabbed a huge Galatasaray flag and slammed it into the middle of the Fenerbahce pitch.

A small riot was followed by Souness's departure from the club.