Hooligans, Firms, and your Couch.
May 30, 2005 10:14 AM   Subscribe

Hey you on the couch! Isn't it time to cozy up to your favourite pitch battle? Yes, warm to such classics as "Birmingham vs. Wigan 94" or the great classic "Wolverhampton vs Luton 89". Yes, go back to a time when the game meant nothing and wearing ya Fila or Burberry was everything. & Who can forget those cheeky Tonge Moor Slashers, Mongoose Cuckoo Boys, and Billy Whiz Fan Club So, get out ya "Headhunters for life" pre-shrunk and free from animal testing tee, put the kids to bed, and relive those glory days of mindless violence from the comfort of your suburban semi-detached.
posted by Mr Bluesky (15 comments total)
Actually, I've just finished reading The Liverpool Boys are in Town 1978-82, though it was less about hooliganism, and more about the pursuit of sartorial excellence via shoplifting trips during European away games.

But you probably had to have been there...
posted by PeterMcDermott at 10:42 AM on May 30, 2005

*Thinks nostalgically of the days when us Brits had the best football hooligans in the world.*

I once nearly ran afoul of the Chelsea Shed, but managed to hide in a back garden. On a different occasion, I got mashed by the Leeds United mob. Back in the day, they were the nastiest of the nasty. The fact that I wasn't hospitalised leads me to believe that it must have only been a friendly beating.
posted by veedubya at 10:57 AM on May 30, 2005

Yesterday was the 20th anniversary of Heysel
posted by ZippityBuddha at 11:07 AM on May 30, 2005

Shit, between football hooligans and these "chavs" that I keep hearing about, the UK sounds scarier than any American city.
posted by cmonkey at 11:23 AM on May 30, 2005

God, I love casuals. I know, I know, the fighting is bad and all that, but the clothes were so beautiful.
posted by jack_mo at 11:27 AM on May 30, 2005

Oh, and talking of Heysel, I met some Italian supporters who, when they found out I was from near Liverpool, shook me by the hand and said, 'Thanks for Heysel!'

posted by jack_mo at 11:31 AM on May 30, 2005

I remember being terrified in the playground with the threat of the mini Crew marauding the playground. By the time I had got to Primary 6 (aged 10) we watched illicit copies of The Firm taped on the living room video (no two vcr households in those days) by older siblings whilst parents slept.

Nowadays you get nostalgic hooligans thinking about the good old days and the Chelsea smile whilst they drop 'the missus' off at Ikea and listen to the game on the radio in the car park.
posted by ClanvidHorse at 11:37 AM on May 30, 2005

(A counterbalance to the rude Italian supporters story.
posted by blendor at 11:58 AM on May 30, 2005

Ahh, seems I hit a nostalgic note. I guess my flip post does hit a sensitive issue given Heysel, but for those of us there in the day the whole culture was bigger than any ability to reflect on the outcomes of our actions. The path we were all on was inevitable and Heysel's tragedy in some ways can be attributed to that eras end.

But for those of us piss poor, fraying our jeans, joining the local firm (Out of Kingston and allied with Chelsea) and blagging a few tenners to get ya Elesse was truly living.

Now a Dad in the US I look back with a smile at a world so different than the one my kids know, and so much better for. Of course I now sing "One man went to mow a meadow.." with the monkeys, if only they knew where dad used to sing that.
posted by Mr Bluesky at 12:18 PM on May 30, 2005

Can someone explain this post to the poor American who, especially these days, doesn't "get" the glorification of violence?
posted by basicchannel at 4:25 PM on May 30, 2005


Fighting is fun. It gets the adrenaline pumping. Winning is also fun. Fighting and winning make a good combination. Also, lots of folks like fashion. So you've got fighting, winning, and fashion. Folks also like sport. So you've got fighting, winning, fashion, and sport.

If you could make money and have sex while swedging, you'd pretty much have the whole value-pack.
posted by Bugbread at 4:30 PM on May 30, 2005

It's making my nose bleed just thinking about it!
posted by Balisong at 4:59 PM on May 30, 2005

Any British man around 30 year of age can tell you about Millwall supporters, just ask them. They're like Raiders fans without the self-restraint, class and culture.
posted by clevershark at 6:41 PM on May 30, 2005

I must say I find the casual culture very fascinating. A decent intro imho is Among the Thugs (non-fiction) and The Football Factory (fiction). The Football Factory was recently made into a not very good movie. But the clothes are nice, yes.

Of course, I'm not in the know, so the UK MeFiers might have better suggestions.
posted by mr.marx at 6:56 PM on May 30, 2005

I'm in a firm for a team here in the States, but MLS hooligans don't seem to carry as much menace :)
posted by First Post at 7:34 PM on May 30, 2005

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