Red isn’t a colour I associate with summer. So it seemed unusual to see red in its swathes of vividness on two sporting occasions in the last few days. On a fine sunny day sandwiched between two grey rainy days, the green grass of Lord’s cricket ground was bordered, not by the expected light white clothing of spectators but by a predominance of red-clad supporters. Who or what were they supporting? Andrew Strauss and his two young sons, as they promoted the Ruth Strauss Foundation Day in honour of the former England cricket captain’s wife who died from a rare lung cancer last December. Red had been Ruth’s favourite colour. Test Match Special broadcast a moving discussion between Strauss and former Australian fast bowler Glenn McGrath who shared their experiences of losing a beloved partner.
The second occasion when red dominated was yesterday in Cardiff when Wales played England in a warm-up for the Rugby World Cup to be held in Japan this autumn. After Wales’ defeat to England last Saturday, the tables were turned yesterday when Wales triumphed. The steep tiers of the Principality Stadium were packed with red-clad supporters. My red Wales Rugby Union fleece – the only red item of clothing I have – stayed in my wardrobe. It was a warm day but I felt slightly disloyal for not wearing it . . .
What struck me most about the red of the last few days was not the colour but the determination of the wearers to be loyal supporters of a cause. Solidarity in support was exemplified by red and the togetherness it evoked was striking. What colour are you wearing today? It doesn’t matter. To whom, and how, you show your support, might.