STATE of Origin rivalry was running high in Brisbane today with a NSW supporter claiming he was kicked off a train in Brisbane, and as the doors closed to ‘f*** off back to New South Wales’ because he was wearing a Blues jersey.
“I could understand if I was wearing a racist shirt or had offensive language on it but it’s a rugby league shirt,” Chris Chambers, 30 said.
Chris lives on the Sunshine Coast but was born in NSW — and remains an ardent Blues supporter come Origin time.
“You don’t change teams,” he said.
“I played my first game of league in New South Wales. I’m a Blues supporter’.”
He’s been outnumbered by Maroons for more than 20 years, and is used to copping sledges and exchanging Origin banter, but being told he wasn’t staying on the train in ‘that shirt’ when he boarded a train at Albion, in Brisbane about 8.30am Wednesday, was a whole new level.
“I seriously can’t believe the arrogance and rudeness of Queenslanders,” he later posted on his Facebook.
“This would be hilarious if it wasn’t so serious.”
When Chris, proudly wearing his Blues jersey in enemy territory, boarded the train, he said there were four men in Queensland Rail uniform.
“One said: ‘You can’t get on in that shirt,” Chris said.
“I asked him if he was joking.
“He said: ‘No, get off’.”
Chris says he then got off the train, thinking the four men were ‘conductors or rail officers, and if I didn’t I’d get a ticket’.
“I had no idea if he was a conductor or not,” he said.
“As far as I was concerned he’d given me a directive, and he was serious, so I got off.
“As the doors closed he said: ‘f*** off back to NSW, you loser.”
Chris contacted TransLink to make a complaint.
“The guy from TransLink was brilliant,” he said.
“They are now looking at CCTV footage to see what’s happened — there’s a feeling they might have been off-duty workers on their way to work, because apparently they don’t have conductors.”
“All know is there’s something like 55,000 people going to Suncorp tonight — you’re not going to be able to kick the Blues off.”
A Queensland Rail spokesperson said: “We spoke to Chris this morning and apologised for the incident.”
“Here at Queensland Rail, we love our Mighty Maroons and we encourage our staff to get in the spirit by wearing their colours and theming their stations, however if swearing was used this is taking banter too far.
“We are currently working to identify the staff who were on board to discuss the incident with them.
“Maroon is our favourite colour but it isn’t compulsory for travel.”
Chris waited for the next train — which was due about five minutes later, and turned out to be an all-stops, which would have added 40 minutes to his journey to the Sunshine Coast.
Instead, mid-afternoon, he was still in north Brisbane, hoping a mate would come good with a ticket to Suncorp for the match.
He’s also happy to ‘bugger off to NSW’ for Origin III — if someone’s prepared to stump up for flights and a ticket for him and a mate.