Thursday, 12 December 2013
Wednesday, 11 December 2013
Tuesday, 10 December 2013
Wednesday, 9 October 2013
Saturday, 28 September 2013
Tuesday, 24 September 2013
Our Friends in the North
Friday, 20 September 2013
Tuesday, 13 August 2013
The fact that I was born in the ’80s rather than grew up in the decade meant that I got involved in the football casual scene on tail end of its glory days. Many would say it was over long before I came along, but the scene was still vibrant with lads of all ages involved when I started going, a decent mix of dressing and violence, if significantly scaled down compared to the generation before me.
There have already been an exhaustive amount of essays and studies written on why young lads get together to fight at football, so I’ll save you the psychoanalytic bollocks and come straight in with rule number one: no matter how straight we walk or how we dress ourselves up, we as men are animals, tribal, and be it for pride, sport or survival, we will fight each other. Rule number two is that within those base instincts, that raw aggression and the uncontrolled environment, your body jolts into survival mode and pumps a dose of adrenaline so fiercely through your blood that it creates a rush more intense than any drug I’ve experienced. It’s that feeling which makes it so addictive.
After a few years having the time of my life, touring the country and continent engaging in recreational violence with my mates, I began to see the scene I loved changing. Films like Football Factory and Green Street had been released, and with them came a new generation of ‘casuals’ who I recognised none of myself or my mates in. As far as I knew, if you wanted to knock about with a mob as a youngun you had to show a bit of respect to the older heads, recognise there’s a way of doing things, and above all show that at the very least you’d stand your ground in a row.
With these lads it was solely about emulating a lifestyle they’d seen on screen: wearing the right clothes, using the right words, listening to the right music, toying with the violent aspects but not wanting to get their hands dirty. These boys weren’t from the same stock as the past three decades of casuals in Britain, the football factory had got a new supplier and was knocking out cheap synthetic copies. Cardboard cut-out casuals.
If you don’t believe me, do a Twitter search for ‘casuals’ or ‘awaydays’ on the morning of a match day. You’ll be greeted with hundreds of muppets across the country sporting their spiky hair and Stoney gear, or posing fully goggled up in their Migs. They’ll either be pulling a well’ard face or looking solemnly at their trainers in some grey urban landscape, desperately trying to create a lifestyle they’ve pieced together from books and films. The reality is chaps, football violence isn’t a scene from Kes. Do you think lads in the ’80s had time to take photos of their footwear while some mental Scouser tried to stab them up the arse?
Before I get accused of being a grumpy old bastard longing for days gone by and moaning about the youth of today – I’m still in my twenties. Admitedly I don’t go to football anymore – HMCS and the Football Banning Order Association have decided I’m not responsible enough to go within a mile of any football ground in the country, presumably for fear I might erupt into a frothing rage at the sight of a blue and white scarf and whack a load of pensioners. But what I experienced was that my generation were the last to uphold, or at least try in the face of an ever growing police presence, the core values of the football casual.
For me, the realisation that the game was over came one morning at our local derby. Our rivals had arrived early and got themselves into a boozer off the beaten track. The usual phone calls ensued. Muffled voices, crowds of heads gathering round the blower like a family sat around the wireless for the Queen’s speech. They were over the road.
Drinks slammed down, caps on, single file out the side exit. Look both ways, no old bill. Touch. Across the road and straight in through the double doors we went, waiting for the roar to go up, jacket up, cap down, ready to shield the bottles that I knew were about to come raining down any second…
They got up and ran. Literally ran past us, heads ducked down, and out the door. Teenagers. Kids with frightened looks on their faces. Sorry mate, we don’t want to play any more. Give us our ball back and we can go home.
You see, they thought they were on the phone to their equivalents, the young pretenders like themselves (and believe me we had them the same as everybody did) who’d jump around in the street shouting until the police separated them and they could claim a result for simply being there. When it transpired that they’d actually riled up a sizeable group of twenty-to-forty somethings who were intent on causing damage, and without the salvation of the police escort anywhere around, I saw their faces turn pale.
(TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE FOLLOW THE LINK AT THE TOP OF THIS POST)
Wednesday, 12 June 2013
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Tuesday, 14 May 2013
Following on from excellent articles written by some from Red Brethren from the other end of the East Lancs Road, (Annie Eves, Hillsborough, a Mancs view;- http://the-end-fanzine.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/hillsborough-mancs-view-by-annie-eaves.html and a brilliant article written by J Stand, from The MUFC web site A fine lung http://the-end-fanzine.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/man-utd-fan-talks-sense-shocker.html http://the-end-fanzine.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/man-utd-fan-talks-sense-shocker.html here is a song From Salford Band , "Class Actions" entitled Rip Up The Sun. They have released a compilation free download entitled ‘RIP up the Sun, R.I.P. the victims’, in order to raise awareness of the Hillsborough disaster of April 1989, and the subsequent campaign for justice.
Friday, 19 April 2013
By Annie Eaves
I’m a United supporter. I’m from Manchester, well Salford to be precise.
I don’t like Liverpool. That’s the plan isn’t it? The script we all adhere to. Something only people from one of the two cities could understand. Our city is better than yours, yes you have the river and easy access to a beach but we’re Manchester. We started the industrial revolution, we invented the computer, we split the first atom. You played a major part in the slave trade.
I don’t like scousers. That’s the norm isn’t it? I prefer Mancunians. Scousers don’t like me. Scousers don’t like Mancs. All very well and good, except it’s rubbish. I do like most Scousers, indeed the ratio between my like of individual Scousers and Mancs is no doubt exact. I’m not going to stereotype Scousers as being salt-of-the-earth or having wit. They’re people, all individuals, all like you and me in their own ways.
When I was younger I’d hear conversations in pubs and offices and take part in them. Surely they knew they were killing their own fans? Surely they knew they were going in the wrong section? Surely some of the fans were to blame? I’m not ashamed of having those thoughts, it’s natural. It’s a natural question to ask of such a situation. I ask questions of many situations and my queries were not to be confused with insults. I kept them to myself mostly but read a bit. Here and there. I read more each year and each year I feel more closely connected to what happened in Sheffield. I feel more informed.
Perhaps it’s because I’m now a parent. Perhaps it’s because I’m older. I’m not sure why but each year with the more articles, diaries, first hand accounts I read, I feel more emotionally connected. This makes me more likely to talk to others about it. My mother who has buggered off to Spain for her 60′s came to stay yesterday and last night we sat and talked about Hillsborough. How when I was a youngster aged nine she was trying to explain to me what had happened, she knew little herself as the coverage had been so confused, she didn’t know what to say. She just told me that evening she was washing the dishes and realised that there would be many mothers who had seen their excited sons off to football that morning, like she had done many times herself, who would never see them again. She said she had cried and felt angry, she still gets upset now.
These genuine emotions make the behaivour of some football fans sickening.
Ignorant, insulting, and bizarre.
Last week against Fulham, during the barracking of Danny Murphy which I whole heartedly joined in with, I heard a man behind me shout ’96 was not enough’. Well I say shout, he more murmored it. I expect he knew that anything louder would result in him being shouted down, or worse/better. I believe I was the only one to hear, I was filled with rage. To be fair, I’m easily filled with rage. I wasn’t sure how to react and in my time thinking, the moment had passed. The ball had moved on and those who hadn’t noticed originally were not going to notice now.
I needed to let him know though. All I could do was simply turn and stare at him. He and I knew why I was giving him the Eaves stare. It was enough, if anything ever could be, to let him know this wasn’t on. In these moments you want to transport yourself and the idiot to a quiet country pub and drink and explain. Explain to the idiot why what he said is ridiculous, read the idiot the first hand accounts that never fail to bring tears to my eyes. Tell the idiot about the young man who cannot forget the feeling of crushing ribs under his feet. The young man who couldn’t remove his elbow from crushing someone’s windpipe before it was too late.
The Eaves stare is pretty good, but couldn’t convey that.
However these idiots are becoming rarer. I hope it’s because they read a bit. Here and there. I hope that they are not just biting their lip through a fear of being controversial. I hope that they are not just stopping the chants because they feel they should. I hope they have learned and feel the connection all football supporters should with Hillsborough.
Whilst the campaigners may not get the Justice For The 96 that they so desperately crave, their efforts are rewarded. This year many people will have read the first hand accounts through links on Twitter, Facebook, the rest. They’ll have read articles in papers. I have no doubt that somewhere today there’s an individual who had questions and now feels they are answered. An idiot will have been turned.
Somewhere today someone will have shed their first tear for Hillsborough, they won’t forget it. I don’t forget mine.
To read more from Annie Eaves follow her on Twitter @AnnieEaves