The following books are recommended reading on the subject of football hooliganism in the UK. They can be found online or from any good high street bookstore. This site has no affiliation to any of the authors or to any specific retailer.
by Andy Nicholls
In this remarkably candid autobiography, Andy Nicholls, archetypal Scally and former Category C soccer hooligan, recounts his immersion in the hooligan culture of the late 1970s, dealing unflinchingly with the barbaric knifings for which Merseyside hooligans became notorious, the accusations of racism that have long since been levelled at Everton fans, and the 1985 Heysel Disaster. He also relates darkly humorous tales of thieving, ticket touting, bitter rivalries with Manchester United and Liverpool, and his own appearance on the cover of The Sun. Illustrated.
Andy Nicholls is the archetypal Scally: a streetwise Evertonian with a wicked sense of humour and an eye for the main chance. He is also an obsessive soccer fan and, as a Category C hooligan – the highest-rating of the National Football Intelligence Unit – was involved in some of the most notorious clashes of the past 30 years. In this remarkably candid autobiography, he recounts his immersion in the hooligan culture of the late 1970s.
WANT SOME AGGRO
by Cass Pennant & Mickey Smith
In the 1960s and 1970s, the Mile End Mob ruled Upton Park. Long before the days of the ICF, they were the guv’nors of the terraces, striking fear into the other West Ham mobs and fans. Indeed it was the reputation of the Mile End mob that drove the ICF to establish their rule over the terraces in the 1980s. Co-author Micky Smith was in the thick of the action in the 60s and 70s, when there was no mercy for an away fan at Upton Park. He was there at the clashes between the rival skinhead London mobs, the taking of terraces up and down the country and the run-ins with the authorities
Steaming in: Journal of a football fan
by Colin Ward
Countless words on the subject of football hooliganism have been bandied about by politicians, journalists and sociologists. But here is the unvarnished account of life on the terraces in the 1970s and 1980s, the inside story of a fan. Colin Ward’s experiences at Arsenal, Chelsea and England matches at home and abroad make astonishing readying, by turns disturbing, horrifying and hilarious. From the terraces at Highbury to Luxembourg, Turin and Istanbul Colin Ward charts the camaraderie and the confrontations, the chauvinism, the hatred and the unexpected friendships between rival fans. Along the way he draws a vivid picture of numerous colourful terrace characters, from Tall Eric with his outrageous designer outfits to the three Chelsea fans who wove tall tales all over Europe.
Though caught up in the excitement of the terrace scene Colin Ward never seeks to glorify violence. However, this is a controversial and provocative book that uniquely captures the spirit of the times and never flinches from the truth. It has become that rarest of gems–a classic of football writing.
An account of life on the terraces in the 1970s and 80s, this book is an inside story of a football fan. Colin Ward’s experiences at Arsenal, Chelsea and England matches, at home and abroad and his experiences of camaraderie and confrontations, chavinism, hatred and colourful terrace characters are charted. He is outspoken on drunkenness, racism and unprovoked viciousness and has harsh words to say about the attitude of politicians and the media to football hooliganism.
Blades Business Crew
by Steve Cowens and Paul Heaton
For 20 years, Steve Cowens kept a diary of the violent exploits of The Blades Business Crew – one of the country’s most actie hooligan gangs. As leader of the BBC – he visited 91 of the 92 football league grounds – and fought at most of them. In this explosive book, Cowens reveals the links between different hooligan groups around the country, how they communicate and how they organise. He details the confrontations with many of the leading gangs of the 1980s and 1990s, from West Ham and Chelsea to Birmingham, Leeds, Cardiff, Liverpool and Manchester. And for the first time, he describes many of the lesser known but equally active gangs at some of England’s smaller clubs. He also tells how Sheffield is a city fiercely divided along football lines and relates the story of the city’s bouncer wars’ that left many jailed and permanently injured.
by Tony Rivers
The Inside Story of Britain’s Most Violent Hooligan Gang; The Cardiff Soul Crew are recognised by police intelligence officers as the most violent football hooligan gang currently active in Britain. Their 400-plus members have been involved in mass disorder at matches for more than twenty-five years. Yet they have largely escaped the notoriety of their English counterparts – until now. Two men closely involved with the gang tell its history from its origins through to the present day: their leaders, their fashions, how they organise and who they fight.
Soul Crew relates how an infamous clash with Manchester United’s Red Army in the mid-Seventies was the impetus for the formation of the mob. A core group of hardcases from the tough Docks area of Cardiff was joined by alienated, unemployed youths from the valleys and former pit villages of South Wales. They took their name from their love of soul music and adopted the ‘casual’ fashion of designer-label clothes.
In time they would fight fierce battles with rivals like the Frontline Crew, the Bushwhackers, the Gooners and the Central Element Soul Crew also reveals for the first time the network of alliances and communications between the leading hooligans around the country: the so-called “Category C” thugs who organise much of the violence. And it tells of their cat-and-mouse relationship with the police spotters who now follow them everywhere From the publishers of the best-selling Guvnors and Blades Business Crew, Soul Crew is the best evocation yet of life running with a soccer mob