Chelsea – Headhunters

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The Chelsea Headhunters are an English football hooligan firm linked to the London football club Chelsea.

The Headhunters have rivalries with counterparts who follow other London teams, such as Arsenal, Millwall, Queens Park Rangers, Fulham, Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham.

The Headhunters or originally the ‘Chelsea Shed boys’ and older ‘Northstand’ can trace their roots to the late 1960s, when football hooliganism was in its infancy and along with West Ham’s ‘Mile End Mob’ were one of the original Football Firms. Led by Danny ‘Eccles’ Harkins it coincided with the Skinhead movement at the time which saw a new breed of youth on the terraces who were prepared to fight. However the Skinhead connection to the Firm did not go hand in hand with the racism that would categorise the Headhunters from the late 70s and onwards. The Shed boys had a number of Black Skinheads in their ranks including the infamous ‘One armed Babs’, as well as different gangs from areas as Stockwell, Brixton, Battersea and Slough however despite this it was always a predominantly white Hooligan Firm. The turning point for the Firm in terms of race relations came in the 1970s when the national front gained prominence.

Since that point there was widespread racism amongst the gang and links to various white supremacist organisations, such as Combat 18 and the National Front, and to Northern Irish loyalist paramilitary organisations, such as the Ulster Defence Association and Ulster Volunteer Force.

Jason MarrinerThey were infiltrated by investigative reporter Donal MacIntyre for a documentary screened on the BBC on 9 November 1999, in which MacIntyre posed as a wannabe-member of the Chelsea Headhunters. He had a Chelsea tattoo applied to himself for authenticity, although the hardcore were surprised he chose the hated “Millwall lion” badge rather than the classic 1960s upright lion one. He confirmed the right wing elements in the Headhunters and their links to Combat 18, including one top-ranking member who had been imprisoned on one occasion for possession of material related to the Ku Klux Klan.The programme led to arrests and several convictions. One member of the Headhunters, Jason Marriner, who was convicted and sent to prison as a result of the show, has since written a book claiming to have been set up by MacIntyre and the BBC. He claims that footage was edited and manipulated, and ‘incidents’ were manufactured and they were convicted despite having no footage of them committing crimes.

football factoryNick Love’s film The Football Factory presented the Headhunters in a fictionalized account. The film focuses mainly on the firm’s violent rivalry with the Millwall Bushwackers. Jason Marriner was the subject of a dvd release ‘Jason Marriner – Football Hooligan’ directed by Liam Galvin (Gangster Videos).

Kevin Whitton, a high-profile member of the firm, was sentenced to life imprisonment on 8 November 1985 for violent assault after being found guilty of involvement in an attack on a pub on Kings Road, which was described as being some[clarification needed] of the worst incidents of football hooliganism ever witnessed in England. After Chelsea lost a match, Whitton and other hooligans stormed into the pub, chanting “War! War! War!”. When they left a few minutes later, with one of them shouting, “You bloody Americans! Coming here taking our jobs”, the bar’s American manager, 29-year-old Neil Hansen, was lying on the floor, close to death. Whitton’s sentence was cut to three years on appeal on 19 May 1986. The fan responsible for the actual assault, Wandsworth man Terence Matthews (aged 25 at the time), was arrested shortly after Whitton’s conviction and remanded in custody to await trial. He was found guilty of taking part in the violence on 13 October 1986 and sentenced to four years in prison.Matthews came to the public attention again in June 2002 when he and his 21-year-old son William received two-year prison sentences after they and another man were convicted of assaulting two police officers in Morden, Surrey.In May 2011, some 25 years after the Kings Road incident, it was reported in The Sun newspaper that Matthews had been found guilty of taking part in another hooliganism incident, this time at an FA Cup tie against Cardiff City in February 2010. purs Much has been said about rivalries but Spurs, West Ham, Leicester and Manchester Utd are still heated. After an F.A.cup game in 2002 a firm of Spurs yid army clashed with headhunters between Pimlico and Victoria at 10.30 pm, the violence continued for 10 minutes with 2 people stabbed one of which was an Aberdeen fan as both Glasgow Rangers ICF & ASC were in attendance. During this period the Headhunters travelled extensively to champions league games in Europe, most notably PSG in Paris and Anderlecht in Brussels where large scale disorder was present before and after the matches.

A more recent incident involving the Headhunters occurred on 13 February 2010, when members of the firm clashed[clarification needed] with the Cardiff City Soul Crew at the FA Cup fifth-round tie at Stamford Bridge. On 25 March 2011, 24 people were convicted of taking part in the violence, which resulted in several people being injured (including a police officer whose jaw was broken) at Isleworth Crown Court. All of those convicted received banning orders from all football grounds in England and Wales ranging from three years to eight years. Eighteen of them received prison sentences of up to two years.

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Chelsea violence: Men sentenced following Cardiff match

Twenty-four men have been sentenced for taking part in violence after an FA Cup match between Chelsea and Cardiff City in west London in February 2010.

Ten of them committed violent disorder, while 12 were sentenced for affray and the other two for public disorder.

All were banned from football grounds for between three and eight years.

The clashes were between two separate groups of hooligans, the Chelsea Head Hunters and the Soul Crew of Cardiff, Isleworth Crown Court heard.

One of those convicted was 43-year-old Jason Marriner from Hertfordshire, who was previously the subject of an undercover investigation by TV journalist Donal MacIntyre into hooliganism.

He was sentenced to two years in prison and banned from football grounds for six years after being convicted of violent disorder.

Broken jaw

About 6,000 Cardiff fans travelled to London for the fifth round match, which Chelsea won 4-1.

It had a 1200 GMT kick-off on Saturday 13 February.

The Metropolitan and South Wales Police forces joined together and Operation Turnhill, as it was codenamed, saw officers going undercover to spot troublemakers.

One police officer suffered a broken jaw in the violence.

A pregnant woman told the court how she was forced to speed away in her car on Kings Road, near Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge ground, because she feared for her life and that of her unborn child.

So far 63 people have been convicted over the violence, which followed the clubs’ first meeting in 18 years.

Detail of charges and sentences:

The defendants sentenced for violent disorder were:

Stephen Bradley, 49, of Beechwood Avenue, Sunbury, Surrey – sentenced to 18 months and banned from football for six years

Jeremiah Costello, 49, of Kilburn, north-west London – sentenced to 12 months and banned from football for six years

Ian Cutler, 50, of Hawthorn Road, Wednesbury, West Midlands – sentenced to 14 months and banned from football for six years

Darren Forrest, 40, of Waterlooville, Hampshire – sentenced to 18 months and banned from football for six years

Simon Hearn, 23, of Woking Close, Barnes, south-west London – sentenced to two years and banned from football for six years

Lee Hilton, 40, of Sunnyside Close, Angmering, West Sussex – sentenced to 14 months and banned from football for six years

James Lavender, 30, of Austen Walk, Eastbourne, East Sussex – sentenced to 14 months and banned from football for six years

Jason Marriner, 43, of Yarmouth Road, Hertfordshire – sentenced to two years and banned from football for six years

Ben Satchell, 20, of Onslow Way, Croydon, south London – sentenced to eight months in a young offenders’ institution and banned from football for six years

Nicholas Whelan, 21, of Blandford Road, Beckenham, Kent – sentenced to 14 months and banned from football for six years

The defendants sentenced for affray were:

Malcolm Courtney, 45, of Stafford Road, Acton, west London – sentenced to eight months and banned from football for six years

Anthony Dempsey, 37, of High Street, Tooting, south London – six-month sentence, suspended for 18 months, plus 120 hours’ community service and £250 costs, and banned from football for four years

John Devitt, 45, of Grosvenor Crescent, Uxbridge, west London – sentenced to eight months and banned from football for six years

Carl Drury, 44, of Burstow House, Hawley, Surrey – sentenced to two counts of 12 months, to run concurrently, and banned from football for eight years

Michael Garrard, 48, of Massingbred Way, Tooting, south London – eight-month sentence, suspended for two years, plus 200 hours’ community service and £1,500 costs, and banned from football for three years

Anthony Gunter, 26, of Fleetside, West Molesey, Surrey – sentenced to eight months and banned from football for six years

Ray James Kennedy, 40, of Trinity Road, London – six-month sentence, suspended for 18 months, plus 120 hours’ community service and £250 costs, and banned from football for five years

Craig McGuire, Horseferry Road, central London – sentenced to six months and banned from football for six years

John Meachen, 42, of Queens Street, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire – eight-month sentence, suspended for two years, plus 240 hours’ community service and £1,500 costs, and banned from football for three years

Adam Rawlings, 21, of St Albans Road, Watford, Hertfordshire – sentenced to 14 months in a young offenders’ institution and banned from football for six years

Tom Townsend, 20, of Waddon Park Avenue, Croydon, south London – sentenced to six months in a young offenders’ institution and banned from football for six years

Graham Wallace, 47, of Palins Avenue, Maidstone, Kent – sentenced to eight months and and banned from football for eight years

The defendants sentenced for public disorder were:

Mark Connors, 47, of Cheviot Road, Slough, Berkshire – sentenced to 50 hours’ community service, plus 12 months’ supervision and £100 costs, and banned from football for three years

Brian Hall, 48, of Seaforth Grove, Southend, Essex – sentenced to 120 hours’ community service, plus a 12-month community order and £250 costs, and banned from football for three years

BBC NEWS LONDON – 25th March 2011

Grandad football hooligans return to Cambridge United in pursuit of 1980s-style violence

Grandparents are among a hardcore of Cambridge United hooligans coming out of retirement to try and revive the dark days of football violence

 The club has identified a group of about 10 men, some aged in their 50s and 60s, who are hijacking the club’s name in pursuit of the kicks they got in the 1980s from arranging fights with rival firms and causing trouble on match days.

They have been largely absent from the Abbey – perhaps distracted by the toils of raising families – but are returning to the club following its return to the Football League and encouraging young people to get involved, the club says.


Cambridgeshire police say they have seen an increase in the “severity and volume” of football-related disorder this season.

 Cambridge United bosses are working with police to keep them out of their “unashamedly family club” and are launching a wide-ranging campaign to promote respect and fight discrimination in the community under the national Kick It Out Season of Action banner.

Club chairman Dave Doggett is set to launch its campaign at the home tie with Accrington Stanley tomorrow.

Speaking to fans in his match programme notes he will say: “Unfortunately football clubs still attract an undesirable element of society that appear determined to ruin the enjoyment of real supporters of football clubs.

“Our promotion to the Football League appears to have encouraged our ‘risk’ from the 1980s to come out of retirement.

“Many of them are grandparents trying to encourage the next generation to join their ‘gangs’. It sounds pathetic but unfortunately it is reality. We are working closely with police.”

Mr Doggett added: “Hopefully the reality of the potential consequences will dissuade some of our younger supporters from becoming involved with these undesirables. Our football club is too important to so many to allow a few to ruin our great sport.”

The “undesirables” amount to just 0.2 per cent of those going to games at the Abbey, Mr Doggett said.

A season ticket holder told the News that a group about 30 “fans”, who include those who indulged in football violence in the 1980s as well as young people, turn up to some games looking for trouble afterwards.

One said: “They arrive after the game starts and then leave before it finishes to find a fight.”

U’s fan Peter Woor, who remembers hooliganism in the 1970s and 80s, said football hooliganism has not been truly banished.

He said: “It lingers on in games against Southend and Luton. There’s a tension and you feel threatened so I don’t go to those places anymore. It’s not worth it.

“Most places are fine though, but you still tend to go to away games and keep your colours hidden. I remember the 1970s and 80s and it was horrendous and of course it’s nothing like that but it’s still a problem.”

On “fans” his age taking part in hooligan behaviour he said: “These people must have something missing in their lives to want to do this. It’s very sad.”

Cambridge United supporter Simon Dobbin, 42, has been in a medically-induced coma since he was attacked after the U’s game with Southend on March 21.

Essex police said he was an “entirely innocent victim” who they believe was set upon by a group of men who went out with the intention to attack Cambridge fans.

Inspector Steve Kerridge, Cambridgeshire Constabulary’s lead officer for Cambridge football, said the force has enjoyed a “long and positive working relationship” with Cambridge United.

He said: “We have seen an increase in football-related violence and disorder amongst a very small minority of people, both in Cambridge and other locations when the club has travelled.

“The tragic events recently leading to a serious injury in Southend have been reported widely and sicken us all.

“The club is working hard with us to ensure that those who use football as a vehicle for violence and disorder have no place in the terraces or association with Cambridge United.”

He said they are using football banning orders, which impose “stringent court-backed” restrictions on individuals.

He added: “The increase of risk activity both in severity and volume this season means regular consideration of this level of intervention is once again – and sadly – justified and necessary.”


U’s launches Kick it Out campaign

Cambridge United is waging a war on the “unacceptable prejudices” that still exist within football and society.

The club, which says it is determined to snuff out the problem of “undesirable elements” attending games and build on its family roots, is stepping up its work in the community to help stamp out discrimination and promote respect.

They have designated tomorrow’s League 2 game against Accrington Stanley as their Kick It Out day and have offered discounted tickets to disability, girls football and community groups.

The campaign aims to tackle all forms of discrimination, including racism and sexism, by visiting schools and supporting good causes in the community.

It is establishing a culture of “total respect” in the club and first team players have been visiting schools to spread the anti-discrimination message and promote healthy lifestyles.

Dave Doggett, the club’s chairman, said: “The campaign is aimed at highlighting all of the unacceptable prejudices that still exist within a civilised society.

“It never fails to puzzle me why the simple principle of treating people with the same respect you expect from them is not universally accepted.”

He added: “As a club we are committed to work in the community making a difference to people’s lives. Our players regularly visit schools.

Last year the players explained to youngsters that they do not have to accept being bullied at school or in the playground. This year we are working with the NHS to promote healthy lifestyles.”

28/03/15 Sky Bet League Two - Hartlepool v Cambridge United - Hartlepool, Cambridge

Danny Kerrigan, of Cambridge United Community Trust, said: “Cambridge United are committed to ensuring our club is free from all discrimination, and with the help of Sepura, the trust’s headline sponsor for 2014/15, we will spread this message to the wider community.

“One of the major themes of the trust’s work is inclusion. We are dedicated to celebrating diversity and offering opportunities, regardless of any consideration of age, gender, race, sexuality, ability, or any other characteristic.”

Scarborough v Darlington

Terror on the terraces as hooligans hit fans

A Scarborough Athletic fan was knocked out when rioting football hooligans hurled glasses and stools in front of terrified children.Loutish Darlington fans then caused terror on the terraces, as trouble spilled on to the stands and streets surrounding Scarborough’s Queensgate ground when the two sides clashed.Two men were arrested in the aftermath of Saturday’s fracas, while one Boro fan has recalled how he was left in a crumpled unconscious heap after being hit with a “cheap shot” during the melee.

“We were in the Harbour Tavern having drinks before the game, I was sat at the bar and each pub we went into during the day we noticed two or three Darlington fans walk in,” said Thomas Manson, who called for the troublemakers to be banned.

“I thought nothing of it, but then all of a sudden loads of Darlington fans came in and started throwing glasses, stools – anything they could get their hands on.

“I was caught up in the middle of it, then bang – a punch straight to my head. I remember coming round with police standing around me.”

Exclusive CCTV footage shows around 40 rival fans flood inside the Bridlington family pub before violence ensues.

Cameras capture one terrified father fleeing with his infant child clutched in his arms.

Pub manager Sonja Olsen-Kjolnes said she has never had any trouble with Scarborough fans, and that Darlington supporters stalked their rivals before calling for reinforcements.

“I have been here 15 years and that was the first time I have ever seen anything on that scale,” said Sonja, whose staff called police.

“A gang of Darlo’ fans came through the door and started attacking them.

“There were families with babies and young children. There were a lot of glasses being thrown.”

 “They have brought shame on their club.”

Police quickly broke up the trouble, but further ugly scenes unfolded in and around Queensgate.

Pictures circulating on Twitter show fans squaring up to police inside the ground, with sources claiming the bar was shut during the game to try to curb rowdy behaviour.

Scarborough’s chairman Dave Holland said: “There was trouble at the game, but we were able to deal with it due to the Darlington stewards who came down to help us at the game. Without them we would have struggled.”

Humberside Police confirmed “a number” of fans were slapped with section 35 dispersal orders at the match, and the two men arrested – one for breaching that order and the other for drunk and disorderly – have been respectively dealt with a caution and a fine.

But the ugly scenes at the match, which Darlington won 2-1, mirror those at Whitby’s last week when they entertained FC United.

A teenager was arrested after flares were hurled onto The Turnbull Ground’s pitch.

It’s understood at least one Scarborough Athletic supporter plans on penning a letter to Darlington, calling for action in the wake of Saturday’s trouble.

But a spokesperson for Darlington Football Club’s Official Supporters’ Club claimed they “did not know of any trouble” involving their fans. They added: “If any fans were involved then it will be down to the club to potentially ban them.”

York City FC hooligans – York Nomad Society

York Nomad Society badgeThe York Nomad Society or YNS are a supporters group and hooligan firm associated with York City Football Club who play in League Two.

The YNS was formed in 1981 as an alternative travel to away matches for City supporters. The coaches the YNS put on were cheaper and allowed breaks at pubs for drinking. Since the nineties however, the YNS has become a hooligan group as well as just a supporters group.

In the Hooligans A-Z book, the YNS were described as being more akin to an Italian ultras group than a traditional English football ‘firm’, due to the fundraising carried out by the group. It was also claimed that, in one way or another, around 1,000 people have been ‘members’ of the YNS since its formation.[citation needed]

Former YNS member Terry Exelby was the first English fan to be arrested at the 1986 World Cup after drunkenly climbing into the luggage racks of a plane. When the plane landed in Texas he was arrested by the FBI.


The YNS are avid York City fans, and like other York supporters groups, they raise funds for the club.

Currently the group make a regular donation each season by way of paying the club to have an advertisement board on the half way line in front of the Pop Stand.

Hooligan firm

In March 2002 two York City fans were arrested on suspicion of assault following clashes at an away match against Cheltenham Town. In February 2003, seven people were arrested (four from Bury and three from York) following clashes at a home match against Bury. Between 30 and 40 fans clashed in York with missiles thrown and the police dog unit finally restoring order.

In October 2006 York fans clashed with Oxford United fans in Oxford when over 100 fans from both teams fought near the Blackbird pub. The clash was described by the Oxford Times as being a pre-arranged conflict. Three York City fans were arrested after a window was broken at the Priory pub after the match.

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Wolverhampton Wanderers F.C. hooligans – The Subway Army

Wolverhampton Subway Army badgeAs with all large city football teams the club attracted a number of hooligans in the 1960’s. During the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, a hooligan firm named “The Subway Army” would often ambush fans in the subway adjacent to the ground. The group was eventually dissolved due to a large number of arrests – many as part of the police’s nationwide “Operation GROWTH” (or “Get Rid of Wolverhampton’s Troublesome Hooligans”)

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