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Why do England fans throw beer when they score at major tournaments?

England fans have built up various reputations over the years at major tournaments. One that has stuck with them for several decades revolves around fan violence while another relates to their tendency to drink copious amounts of alcohol.

In the past couple of tournaments, England fans have developed another reputation and it revolves around throwing beer during goal celebrations. Where has the habit come from and why do England fans continue to do it? Here is everything you need to know.

England fans throw beer
Photo by Icon Sport

When did England fans start throwing beer?

Technically speaking, it's likely that an England fan somewhere threw beer around at a major tournament in the 1960s but in terms of widespread beer throwing, you have to go back to the 2006 World Cup in Germany.

During an incident in Stuttgart, England fans began deliberately throwing beer at locals and police as violence escalated in the German City. After the situation had been resolved, German police estimated that the average England fan in Stuttgart that day drank and/or threw a combined 30 pints each.

In terms of throwing beer during England goal celebrations, you can largely blame social media and the 2018 World Cup. England surprised many people during the tournament in Russia by making it to the semi-finals and plenty of videos surfaced online of crowds of England fans chucking beer over each other after goals went in during the knockout stages.

In defence of the fans in Russia, the vast majority of the videos came from fans back home in pubs and bars but the phenomenon has since spilt over and it's now something that pockets of match-going England fans also do inside stadium concourses.

Why do England fans throw beer at major tournaments?

What may have started out as spontaneous, uncontrollable excitement at goals going in against the odds has now transformed into the complete opposite, much like the ‘limbs' culture that has taken over online football discourse.

Many people saw how popular the beer-throwing posts were on social media during the 2018 World Cup and have therefore decided it is something that needs to be done. It's at the point now where people are going out of their way to throw beer in the air, and over other fans, even when goals that don't mean an awful lot are going in. For many, the beer-throwing celebrations have become ‘forced'.

When you consider the average pint of lager in the UK is close to double what it was in 2018, you have to question why people would want to throw it away. Anything for a few likes on the internet, eh?

Should England fans stop throwing beer?

For the vast majority of football fans, the answer to this is absolutely, yes. If a late winner goes in and beer ends up in the air out of spontaneity then nobody would begrudge it but the fact of the matter is, most people are now buying beer and then immediately getting their phones out waiting for an excuse to record themselves throwing it in the air.

On the other side of the coin, perhaps people with that viewpoint are guilty of trying to police celebrations. As long as nobody is getting hurt, is the act of throwing beer during goal celebrations really that serious? Either way, with Euro 2024 around the corner, expect to see a lot more beer-throwing this summer.


Andy Delaney

Andy is a freelance sports writer with ten years of experience covering major sporting events across Europe. He has also been a season ticket holder at Old Trafford since 2008 and has visited over 40 football stadiums in the United Kingdom and abroad following the Reds.

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