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Football’s governing body in Wales has warned fans to “behave” on social media as the announcer at one of the main clubs in the country proclaimed in the past on Twitter how he ‘despises’ Tories and supports independence, and a Welsh football supporters band used the ‘C’ word but denied it, The Eye can reveal.
Rhydian Bowen Phillips broadcasts at the stadium of Cardiff City FC, and has declared “I despise Tories”, stressed that Wales should stand up to Westminster, as well as in one message just saying six times “Wales is a different country to England”.
Apart from being the announcer at one of the main football clubs in Wales, he also hosts a BBC Radio Cymru (BBC RC) programme on Saturdays from 11 am – 2 pm with the actress Shelley Rees, and is a Twitter friend of another presenter who has caused fierce arguments.
The publicised views of Mr Phillips on social media appear to fly in the face of guidelines underlined recently by the new Director General (DG) of the BBC Tim Davie.
He has also retweeted a comment that a Brexiteer was “A ruptured pustule on the anus of the country”.
Mr Phillips has long made his controversial views known, and has, too, tweeted a picture of himself flashing the ‘V’ sign at a poster of Margaret Thatcher.
Bizarrely Mr Phillips has ‘retweeted’ the message from the Football Association of Wales (FAW) on Twitter urging fans to: “Behave on social media how you would behave if you were looking someone in the eye”.
It comes amid more confirmation of his firm support for Welsh independence on social media, with him tweeting many times recently to back the controversial aim, which is supported only by a tiny minority of the population of Wales.
In one tweet Mr Phillips highlighted in condemnation of neighbours who were putting out union flags, and he hashtagged the word ‘annibyniaeth’ (independence).
Another Welsh football fan but critic of Mr Phillips’ activities said: “This is incredible. The message from the FAW is to behave, but he doesn’t do that himself. You wonder if he would make those kind of comments to a Conservative who is opposed to Welsh independence!”.
Meanwhile past remarks by the Welsh football supporter’s band The Barry Horns have also emphasised the FAW exhortation to ‘behave’.
The Barry Horns have been banned by a social media company, denied calling a politician a “lying c…” (spelt in full) said “fuck you” to Brexiteers, and declared about a UK cabinet minister “Go f… (spelt in full) yourself you Tory bastard“.
The Barry Horns have been described as “a foul mouthed bullying group of yobs” to The Eye, and said on Twitter that they didn’t use the “‘C’ bomb”, despite the facts.
The astonishing situation has even been the subject of our satirical writer Edwin Phillips.
The ‘lying c***’ insult was hurled at politician Nigel Farage and the ‘Tory bastard’ comment was aimed at Jeremy Hunt.
The band were barred from Twitter following abuse like this, and after the ban was lifted they said they were “beautiful”, yet serious questions have been raised about this contentious decision.
The former leader of Plaid Cymru (PC) Leanne Wood spoke out against the restriction at the time, saying on Twitter: “… you ban the Barry Horns? For defending the NHS?”, this was then re-tweeted by PC MP Jonathan Edwards.
BBC RC and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales (BBC NOW) were due to stage the ‘Red Wall’ with The Barry Horns at Pontio in Bangor, although the venue had to be closed due to coronavirus/Covid-19.
The event was to mark “the amazing journey supporting our national football team through Euro 2020”, with the headline-grabbing band as ‘guest’ performers, and officials claimed it was “Suitable for all ages”.
But one football fan was so incensed, he contacted the FAW and asked: “I would like to know what the FAW position is on the Barry Horns who having affiliated themselves to South Wales football now appear to have adopted an aggressive political agenda.
“Some of their language on Twitter is worse than I have ever endured on football terraces. Is this the sort of agenda the FAW condone?”.
They clearly support the party of Ms Wood and Mr Edwards, because before the Twitter ban, they urged followers to “Join @Plaid Cymru”.
The Barry Horns are an eleven-piece brass band, made up of fans of the Welsh national football team, created in 2011 by BBC Wales promos director ‘Fez’ Watkins.
Their first public appearance was outside the Wales v England World Cup qualifying match in Cardiff on 26 March 2011.
They also appeared at the Welsh Cup Final in the same year, which was broadcast on television.
In March 2017, they were banned from the Republic of Ireland v Wales World Cup 2018 qualifying match in Dublin.
In September of the same year, they gave a headline performance at the first Welsh Independence music festival in association with YesCymru, held at Clwb Ifor Bach in Cardiff.
That month The Barry Horns also gave football fans from North Wales a surprise welcome to Cardiff with a performance at Cardiff Central Station ahead of Wales’ match against Austria at the Cardiff City Stadium.
At the time executives announced: “The Horns couldn’t wait to greet the train upon its arrival to Caerdydd. Next stop – 3 points!”.
Arriva Trains Wales stated: “The atmosphere on board was amazing with everyone in great spirits all the way down and for The Barry Horns to be welcoming the train and fans into Cardiff was the icing on the cake”.
A Welsh TV company said: “The Barry Horns know how to get a party started, even on a station platform”.
If fans were just starting a party then the FAW presumably would not feel the need to tell them to ‘behave’ on social media, even as one said he ‘despises’ Tories and supports the contentious aim of Welsh independence, and a football supporters band called a prominent politician “a frog faced lying c***” …
Also on The Eye – more disturbing revelations about the trip to a part of lockdown Wales by a leading academic.
Our Editor Phil Parry’s memories of his extraordinary 37-year award-winning career in journalism (including Welsh football stories) as he was gripped by the incurable disabling condition Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia (HSP), have been released in a major new book ‘A GOOD STORY’. Order the book now!