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Guvnors: The Autobiography of a Football Hooligan Gang Leader [Paperback]

Michael Francis , Peter Walsh
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
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Frequently Bought Together

Guvnors: The Autobiography of a Football Hooligan Gang Leader + Running with the Firm + Scally: Confessions of a Category C Football Hooligan
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Product details

  • Paperback: 194 pages
  • Publisher: Milo Books (3 Dec 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 095308471X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0953084715
  • Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 12.3 x 1.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 134,673 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


'A gripping read.' (BBC Radio Five Live)

'The most explosive book about soccer violence ... ever!' (Sunday Sport) -- SUNDAY SPORT

As far removed from Nick Hornby's Fever Pitch as it is possible to get.' (The Guardian) -- THE GUARDIAN

`As an insight into the mind of a hooligan, it probably won't be bettered.' (Manchester Evening News) -- MANCHESTER EVENING NEWS


As far removed from Nick Hornby's Fever Pitch as it is possible to get.' (The Guardian)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad but I wouldnt go too far. 27 Oct 2007
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I guess this book should get a but more praise because it is one of the earlier 'hooligan' books but the simple fact of the matter is if you have read one you have read them all.

Story begins with his childhood, born in rough working class area, dad used to slap him around, mum worked her guts out but both were the salt of the earth. Joined a firm, was a life long fan, police make an operation against the firm, court case goes on, gets sent down, comes out becomes a bouncer yeh you have just about read the same thing with just about every hooligan book around.

Still, this does have some things of interest. Francis is pretty honest with his many encounters with rival firms describing how he and his firm were not only turned over more than once but that on many occasions he had the living daylights kicked out of him. He is honest about his own firms use of knives and how other firms also used them recounting occasions when the City firm have slashed a few people. He is honest about the thieving that went on how they were far from the best dressed people around (in fact being honest enough to say they dressed like scruffs) Which is a damn site more honest than some of the books you will find out there with there obligatory chapter dedicated to nothing more than designer labels and myths about how they were such 'dresses' (Anyone seen the pictures in the Birmingham Zulus book? V-Neck jumpers with black suit jacket, yeh lads you were the height of fashion)

Mickey was a mixed race lad and is not daft enough to think that racism didn't exist on the terraces. He more than once tells us how his firm fought City firms who were NF and some of the racist abuse that the Cool Cats received in Liverpool (From both Liverpool and Everton) Leeds, Millwall and Chelsea and even more so the shock value a mixed race firm received in places like Newcastle and Leeds.

Not a bad read, you will probably get through it in about an hour at best.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant 3 May 2000
By A Customer
This book was excellent, and thats comin from a Manchester United fan. Mickey Francis and his brothers tell the exact story of their years in football violence. He was brought up in one of, if not, the roughest areas in the country and uses this to get his point across. It is a must read book if you are a football fan and has been brilliantly written.
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By A Customer
Guvnors is arguably better than many other books on football hooliganism because it's a true, non-fiction account of one of the leading hooligan firms in the 1970's and 80's. Because it's factual (or near-enough), it makes compelling reading and any football fan will enjoy reading it. Francis tells it bluntly how it was, living and growing up in Moss Side and how his career as a hooligan developed. There are some great chapters on the inter-club rivalries with Scousers, Leeds and Manchester United. The writing is simple, often comical but always fascinating. An excellent read.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Its Cool For Cats............ 19 Dec 2003
As far as football violence goes, and lets face it the vast majority of such epics are tedious, dubious and do little but glorify mass battles in areas where it is likely that women and children can be found, this is about as good as it gets. Make no bones about it, Mr. Francis is an extremely complex and "hard"person. He makes several key statements that sociologists who constantly review the hooligan culture, should take on board such as the fact that he didn't just fight at football, he was prone to violence wherever and whenever. It also shows how difficult it was for him to move into legitimacy because of the reputation he and his associates had acquired not only with the authorities but with others in later life. A key publication in this overflowing and glorified area.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best 24 Feb 2000
By A Customer
This was one of the best books Ihave ever read I thought Micky told of how he and his brothers behaved and fought on the teraces was excellent. I found the way in which he decribed the fights and told of the battles was superb and I would recomend this book to anyone interested in finding out about the life of a football hooligan.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Good read 5 Jun 2014
By Lally
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Just finished MIB and some stories contradict the story in here but still a good read. Worth the effort overall
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5.0 out of 5 stars the original and probably the best 9 Dec 2013
the earliest and probably the best book out of all the hooolie books . An easy "read in a few hours" book but told with humour and honesty. Leeds United Supporter.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Guvnurs 19 Jun 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Very good book being a city fan loved the read New a lot of the games and places mentioned and some of the people
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Published 28 days ago by Steve HARRISON
1.0 out of 5 stars Complete dross
I spent my hard earned on an irksome individuals memoirs, who never really paid the price for shaming himself and family. Only gave it one star, because I couldn't give it zero.
Published 2 months ago by lezmond
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Great read and enjoyable
Published 3 months ago by Richard Oliver
5.0 out of 5 stars Good read
One of the only books I've finished, definitely worth reading, kept me hooked the whole time and only took me 4 days to finish it
Published 14 months ago
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read
Brilliant Book.
A true portrayal of gang culture on the terraces. Its told by a Manchester City fan who still goes too the games now. Read more
Published 18 months ago by John Dawson
3.0 out of 5 stars Guvnor review
A very honest account of football violence in the 70s and 80s and the organisation of the club's home and away
Published 19 months ago by arsenal1
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting read, but doesn't really flow...
Lots of good anecdotes about travelling fans and rivalries - the ups and downs of being a football fan, the banter and the battles. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Tootall
4.0 out of 5 stars Very informative
This book had lots of information and was very informative. Once i started i couldn't stop reading. I never knew the extent of football hooliganism
Published 21 months ago by footiebabe
2.0 out of 5 stars Poor book, poorly written.
In short this is the worse hooligan book I have read to date. Leave well alone. This is not about a football firm but about beating innocent match goers up when they outnumber... Read more
Published on 8 Dec 2009 by Liverpool Red 1
5.0 out of 5 stars good honest read
Quite simply the best book on the subject of working class lads fighting for their team I've read. And I've read most of them. Read more
Published on 3 Feb 2008 by woods
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