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.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


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”)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

wolves fans most violent article


Stoke City F.C – Naughty Forty

Stoke City- Naughty Forty


Naughty Forty (Naughty 40 or N40) is a football hooligan firm linked to Stoke City F.C.


At their height, the firm had over 700 members and were among the more violent football hooligan firms in England.

In January 1998, dozens of hooligans invaded the pitch at the club’s new Britannia Stadium at the end of a 7-0 Division One defeat by Birmingham City and several seats were thrown onto the pitch. This was one of several traumatic events in one of the worst seasons in the club’s history, as they were relegated from Division One at the end of it.

On 21 October 2001 84 people were arrested after rival fans clashed at Stoke City’s local Potteries derby with Port Vale. Violence broke out in the streets around Vale Park in the Burslem district of Stoke. There were two pitch invasions and fans from both clubs threw missiles at each other. About 300 police officers were drafted in to keep the peace.  On 29 December hooligans from the Naughty Forty and another firm associated with the club the Under 5’s fought with hooligans from Huddersfield Town in Huddersfield. In the worst incident Stoke fans smashed up and set fire to the White Hart pub, causing extensive damage.

On 28 April 2002 Stoke City played Cardiff City at home. Staffordshire Police mounted a large operation and had to call in officers from other forces and around 1,000 officers were on duty on the day. The match had to be halted for seven minutes as the police attempted to arrest Stoke hooligans in the ground. After the game police were pelted with stones, and Cardiff City chairman Sam Hammam had his car vandalised.

On 1 May, violence again erupted between hooligans of the two clubs when they met in a Division Two play-off match. Five people were arrested as trouble erupted after Cardiff lost the match, when hooligans from both clubs confronted each othert outside Ninian Park. Three police officers needed hospital treatment following disturbances while a number of others suffered minor injuries. Officers using batons struggled to keep the two sets of fans apart as missiles, including stones, bottles and fence posts, were thrown from the Cardiff side.

Former N40 founding member, Mark Chester, wrote a book about his exploits with the firm in 2006 stating that he was a reformed character, and that he was not proud of his past, having moved on from the violence of football hooligans.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Middlesbrough Frontline

Middlesbrough Frontline badgeThe Frontline is a football hooligan firm associated with Middlesbrough F.C..

A notable member was Teesville man Paul Debrick (known as “The Brick”) who became a member of the firm as a teenager during the early 1980s. In 1984, at the age of 19, he was jailed for two years for fighting Barnsley fans. He continued his involvement in hooliganism until the early 2000s, and published his autobiography The Brick: A Hooligan’s Story in 2005.  He died on 6 August 2007, aged 42, from a Deep vein thrombosis.  Read article>>>

Middlesbrough Frontline

Middlesbrough Frontline flag