I know technically, we’re only meant to be doing stories about previous Rugby World Cups, but this popped up in my twitter feed today, and it’s fantastic. It’s footage from the fanzone at Richmond Old Deer Park.
It captures the final moments of the the game in which Japan beat the Springboks, but it’s not the game that really matters.
It’s the scenes afterwards.
The exultation from the crowd watching as they witness an incredible upset.
The fans of other nations, gathering round to congratulate the Japanese supporters
The slaps on the shoulders, the “well done mate”, the wide smiles on the faces of all.
The Frenchman, who grabs him for a shameless selfie.
The South African fan, beer in hand, who wraps up the teary Japanese fan in a shameless, unbridled bear hug.
Rugby is, as the saying goes “… a ruffians game played by gentlemen”, and while we know not all rugby fans are as gracious and as generous as these – there’s much to be said for the sentiment and the spirit evoked in this video.
Full credit to Charlie Richardson for capturing it.
If that’s not enough, this 20 minute compilation of fan reactions, both from inside the stadium and around the UK is priceless.