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Congratulations You Have Just Met the ICF [Hardcover]

Cass Pennant
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)

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Book Description

15 April 2002
A history of the most famous football battles in history, this book presents an unapologetic account of life in the front line of football violence by Cass Pennant, the leader of the notorious Inter City Firm - the ICF - West Ham's gang of football hooligans. The Inteer City Firm were the most notorious firm of football hooligans this country has seen. They were hard, terrifyingly vicious, brilliantly organized, tremendously feared and highly fashionable.


Product details

  • Hardcover: 414 pages
  • Publisher: Blake Publishing (15 April 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1903402891
  • ISBN-13: 978-1903402894
  • Product Dimensions: 23 x 15.2 x 4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 685,438 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

Cass Pennant is the best-selling author of eight football-related books, five of which have been UK Top Ten bestsellers.
His best selling autobiography "CASS" was published by John Blake and followed his entry as a hard bastard in the book of the same name by Kate Kray, the former wife of Kray twin, Ronnie. He subsequently wrote and co-authored, CONGRATULATIONS, YOU HAVE JUST MET THE I.C.F.; WANT SOME AGGRO?; ROLLING WITH THE 657 CREW; GOOD AFTERNOON GENTLEMEN THE NAME IS BILL GARDNER; TERRACE LEGENDS; TOP BOYS; 30 YEARS OF HURT:

As the CEO of Pennant Books, he has conceived and published a wide array of valuable titles in the sport, biography and crime genres. Pennant is also the eponymous hero of the critically acclaimed British feature film Cass starring Anoso Anozie, which was based on his best-selling autobiography about his turbulent life and character, constantly strengthened through adversity.

As an acknowledged authority on the culture of hooliganism and gang culture, he advised on numerous TV and film projects, including Guy Ritchie's acclaimed Snatch and Alan Clarke's The Firm along with Lexi Alexander's Green Street/Hooligans plus Bravo TV's The Real Football Factories and ITV's Bouncer's series.

Product Description

Review

'Cass Pennant is one of the hardest men ever to come out of the bloody world of football violence. His stories will chill your blood.' Sunday People

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Please please take those blinkers off! 8 Jan 2011
By Gogol TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
I have read quite a few of these books (Guvnors, Zulus, Villains, Tottenham Massive, Boys from the Mersey) and even Cass which in spite of his sometimes blinkered views is well written and I found entertaining. I got this because I expected something of the same, well what I found was a bit of a mixed bag.

The book is mainly concentrated on the 70s and early 80s when the ICF were most active. You get stories from some of the main members and it covers events with some of the usual suspects of early 80s hooliganism. Obviously the book is written by ex ICF so its going to be biased however 400 odd pages of "About 400 of them came at us, we had about 50 but these were our main boys, we stood firm and done them" It does come to a point where you have to wonder. The "Top boys" of Liverpool and Manchester are knocked out with a single blow, the main face of Millwall is sent running in terror at a machete wielding ICF (Remember that scene from Rise of the foot soldier? Well according to the book that was ICF not Millwall) 200 West Ham take on and beat about 2000 up in the North East (Seriously, I kid you not these are the kind of numbers they are talking about in the book. There is even one where 3 of them take on 200 Leicester!) The best bit in that was was them getting bricked by thousands, Bill Gardner getting hit with bricks but he is just "So tough" He just stands there and takes it before they all stroll over, scale some railings and run them! As for the main faces of the ICF, well reading this I would think it would take kryptonite, plutonium, act of God maybe to so much as inflict a scratch on them (Bricks, knives, bottles dont seem to work although one punch from any of them and you seem to end up on a drip).

Some of its just comical.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, though not brilliant 15 May 2006
By M. V. Clarke VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
This is an interesting concept: one ex-West Ham terrace gang leader telling some of the stories of the exploits of West Ham firms, along with the recollections of many of his comrades. In some respects, it's an enlightening, if disturbing read: the organisation, closed-rank mentality and range of social backgrounds of the various terrace firms is far from the generally accepted view of a bunch of mindless, unemployed, drop-out thugs. The clear message that comes across is not that this was something that came about in any sense as a rebellion against their social situation, but simply out of the pure enjoyment of inflicting pain and shame on rival gangs, and establishing their own position as the premier firm. I don't think it's a glorification of football hooliganism, more an honest account of why and how they did it. To be sure, there are disturbing accounts, and one can only be glad that this is no longer the general state of football these days. However, it wasn't the best read - once you've read a few chapters, you begin to get the general theme: travel to club x, fight with their firm at the station/on the streets/outside the ground - get into the ground, attempt to 'take' the home end, more fighting during and after the game, police involvement - escorted back to the train/coach. The author's own comments add rather more - he takes some time to reflect on the mentality that underpinned all this, and the chapter on the demise of the ICF is very well thought out. It would have been more interesting to hear similar reasoning from the other contributors too, though.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars This will go down in history 3 Sep 2012
Format:Paperback
as a serious rival to Grimms Fairy Tales. A fanciful book to say the least written by someone who has somehow managed to earn money off the back of mythical exploits.
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21 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Introduction to organised aggro for outsiders 4 July 2002
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
Cass Pennant offers an unapologetic account of the Inter City Firm. He's interviewed many of the former members and let's them speak in their words; granted he has a few tales himself.
This book does not glorify violence and those hoping to recreate this level of aggro at football grounds should look elsewhere. Football hooliganism belongs to another era and Cass points out the reasons that it shall never come back like it was in the 70's and 80's. Millwall and Cardiff are anachronisms.
What's amazing is the level of organisation (obviously prior to mobiles) and puts paid to the claim that it was all mindless violence. Cass doesn't delve into the sociological reasons for this violence. Others have tried from a distance and it's usually absolute dross. I shall never understand the attraction of rucking for fun. However, this book offers a glimpse into this way of life.
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58 of 74 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Crazy Days, great memories 8 April 2002
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
Whe I heard that Cass was writing a book about the ICF I must admit I did wonder if this was really needed and if it may have gone against the 'code'. I got a copy of the book on Saturday (6.4) and read it cover to cover at the weekend. It is a brilliant book for me. That is because so much of the content is relevant and memorable. If you were not there, then may be it will appear that this book is nothing more than an account of a bunch of football 'hooligans' and their exploits over 15 years. I am pleased to say that this book is more than that , much more than that. It is extremely well written and packed full of accounts of derring do, from those that did them. Cass makes many lucid points and far from trying to explain the 'the reasons why' these firms existed, just paints vivid pictures of the 'do or die' attitude. I have read many a book about football violence and most are nothing more than inarticulate rants about the 'good old days' with the protagonists craving for a return to those times. Cass takes a diametrically opposed viewpoint, backed up by messrs Gardner and Swallow, which is that those days are over, and if you want to repeat them, you are nothing more than a dinosaur. He hits the reasons why the whole scene disappeared bang on the head (Heysel and the Rave Scene) and writes from a position of initial confusion about the way that ex-members of football mobs ended up working the Rave Scene.. This was spot on, in our new world of love, music, and ecstasy the days of violence seemed no longer necessary. The ICF set trends throughout its life and some ex-members are still setting them. This book sets a new trend in books on football violence. It is a first . Read more ›
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A cracker from Cass
A Gripping insight into football back in the 1970s-80s... A must read for any Hammer, beautifully descriptive account of a true football culture
Published 1 month ago by Cheryl king
3.0 out of 5 stars Good product: no complaints as it was purchased used
Purchased for Secret Santa at work. Came in a good quality case and was ideal for my colleague. Def would purchase again.
Published 6 months ago by Willowhayne (Allan)
5.0 out of 5 stars Good read by the pool
A good book about what used to go on down the Boleyn and elsewhere. Ave it.
Would recommend to likeminded fans of football.
Published 17 months ago by C. Bemrose
4.0 out of 5 stars Slick, Organised and a look at the ICF and how a top firm was...
I loved this book - probably because of the relevancy of the ICF and how other firms have attempted to emulate and copy West Hams dominance through the 70's & 80's. Read more
Published on 30 Oct 2009 by Liverpool Red 1
3.0 out of 5 stars Objective? Probably not!
A decent attempt and at least it was written with a genuine desire to record social history. But the myth of the ICF evaporated when they got booted all over Manchester and... Read more
Published on 4 Aug 2009 by Mick D
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't hold your breath
I've read quite a few books on the subject & I must say that if I enjoyed reading most of them, this one is a major desapointement. Read more
Published on 21 May 2009 by Brizio
3.0 out of 5 stars supermen .... or a blight on English football?
Another West Ham 'aggro' book depicting that they were the top boys.
Yes, over a 30 year period they have always been there but have not always been the dominant force they... Read more
Published on 26 Nov 2007 by Four Crests
1.0 out of 5 stars dont believe the hype
I bought this book after reading several reviews all saying how great it is.... how wrong I was. This is the only book that I have ever failed to finish.
Published on 31 Aug 2007 by Alyn
5.0 out of 5 stars First hand football hooligan reports
This is a great book if you want to know more about the actual hooliganism going around in the '80's. Read more
Published on 20 Jun 2007 by Shaun
1.0 out of 5 stars Soccer violence in question
I have given this book a low rating due to the hypocrisy of the subject and people in question with regards to “the game they love”. Read more
Published on 17 Mar 2004 by James Wood
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