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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Casual reflections
This book is a must for anyone interested in the casual culture from its inception in the late 70's to the modern day. It predominantly centres on the clothes and music of the periods concerned, and describes how the style has evolved, putting it into context with the skinhead, two-tone movement and mod revival which coincided with its early beginnings.
Facsimile...
Published on 20 May 2003 by Borg Elite

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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A game of two halves
This is a decent stab (sic) at the casuals phenomenon. But the style of the book may surprise you. He's chosen to string together masses of quotes and stories from former casuals and ... er ... that's pretty much it, with a bit of narration thrown in. The origins are handled well though.
You could argue that this is refreshing - because the lad on the terraces (or...
Published on 13 Jan 2004 by smitzer


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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Casual reflections, 20 May 2003
This review is from: Casuals: Football, Fighting and Fashion - The Story of a Terrace Cult (Paperback)
This book is a must for anyone interested in the casual culture from its inception in the late 70's to the modern day. It predominantly centres on the clothes and music of the periods concerned, and describes how the style has evolved, putting it into context with the skinhead, two-tone movement and mod revival which coincided with its early beginnings.
Facsimile reproductions of the original Face article from 1983 by Kevin Sampson and copies of influential fanzine "The End" are teamed with stories of sourcing, appropriating and wearing casual clothing in the early days. Illustrated throughout, with 16 pages of colour photographs, I found it compulsive reading, and was particularly pleased to see mention of Patrick cagoules and Benetton rugby shirts (although I recall them being labelled as "tennis shirts"). As a man who spent his first giro on a pair of Diadora Pat Cash's and his first YTS money on a Pringle, the book certainly struck a chord.
The one observation I would make is that it centres in the main on the formation and early days of the casual movement, and whilst acknowledging that there has been a resurgence of casuals in recent times, the dismissive phrase of one contributor of "have Hackett, will throw plastic chairs anywhere in Europe" and the chapter "Close Island" may suggest some of the sympathies of the author.
In short, it is an A - Z of the casual era from Slazenger to Stone Island, and I would recommend this to anyone interested in the fashions and music of the last 25 years.
Borg Elite
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well Casual, 7 July 2004
By 
Paul (Bury St Edmunds) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Casuals: Football, Fighting and Fashion - The Story of a Terrace Cult (Paperback)
It had to happen at some point - finally an informed, literate and broad approach to a subject that holds memories for many but, in its' written form, alienates most due to the preoccupations of a few mindless, violent protagonists who have been allowed to peddle their depressing and hateful world view in print.
The cover of this book paints it as yet another attempt by a provincial yob to cash in on his brief spell of notoriety during the mid 1980's; the media image of a hooligan whose goggled eyes reflect a punch-up on a terrace somewhere in England on a Saturday. But bear with it and you soon find something approaching a sub-cultural manual cum history book for blokes who came of age in the late 1970's - sop complete is the author (and the bulk of his contributors') eye(s).
The format of this book, as opposed to the semi-autobiographical nature of the majority of slim volumes on this depressing subject, is vaguely chronological, staring correctly in the mid 1970's and continuing to pretty much the present day. But its' milestones are far broader than just years - the arrival of Punk in the unique form that hit Merseyside and Manchester, the Liverpool in Europe Years, the Miners' strike, Heysel and Acid House all inform the book with a truly broad perspective that transcends the casual subculture and frames it within the significant events that provide reference points to anybody in their late 30's who experienced the glory days of football and casual.
The broad range of correspondents whose stories are cut up to pepper the narrative with real-life experiences gives a national view rather than the traditional football-centric regional perspective. Fashions, travel and music are described in a way that shows the basic differences between north and south. Merseyside is a key focus, but the book is none the worse for that; the Scousers had the coolest take on casual from the start and I say that as a southerner who proudly wore grey Farahs and slip-ons topped off with a pastel pink waffle sweater to nightclubs in my adopted Huddersfield home.
There is an argument to say that any work that was half literate would seem ground breaking when it was concerned with the experiences of the young male football fan in the 1980's, but Thornton's work has appeal to those who did not directly experience the phenomenon of casual as vividly as those who did; music and fashion references are as sharp as a razor and I for one was touched by the mention of the MA-1 jacket and Levi's 501 'look' as much as by the constant mention of the M&S crew neck sweater. Good times.
I wish we could expect more works from this author because I for one have no wish to spend my money on a ghost written tome concerning the sordid past of an ex-convict from Crewe who delights in recalling minor skirmishes in Halifax on a rainy Saturday in October, when there was so much more to the experience of the match and the travel and the look.
More please!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars For When "Casual" Meant Oneupmanship., 5 Oct 2008
By 
DC Walker - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Casuals: Football, Fighting and Fashion - The Story of a Terrace Cult (Paperback)
If you were a Casual back in the day then you will read this with a wry smile combined with the occasional "did we really wear that?"

If you are a young Casual now this should be read as to understand the roots of the movement. You never know, you might actually discover that wearing a Clone Island jumper doesn't make you a Casual.

I actually think Thornton has got it pretty much spot on.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitive book for football, music and fashion obsessives alike, 9 April 2012
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This review is from: Casuals: Football, Fighting and Fashion - The Story of a Terrace Cult (Paperback)
At first came the Teds, then the Mods, the Rockers, the bloody Hippies, Skinheads, Suedeheads and then the Punks. But by the late Seventies early eighties a new youth fashion had appeared in Britain. Its adherents were often linked to violent football gangs, wore designer sportswear and made the bootboys of previous years look like the dinosaurs that they had become.
They were known as Soccer casuals, scallies, Perry Booys, trendies and dressers. But the name that stuck was Casuals. (So I am lead to believe from West Hams ICF of Millwalls Bush wakers)
And this grass-roots phenomenon, largely ignored by the media, was to change the face of both British fashion and international style.
Casuals recounts how the working-class fascination with sharp dressing and sartorial one-upmanship crystallized the often bitter rivalries of the football/hooligan firms and how their culture spread across the terraces, clubs and beyond.
For a long time they went unnoticed by the police as they were still hunting the skinheads & boot-boys.
It is the definitive book for football, music and fashion obsessives alike.
As you get further into the book it goes into the Acid house scene and even the heady days of Ibiza in the mid later 80's (Oh memories) and then into the Club scene where you had to dress like a "Chino Charlie" to get in.
Its Well worth taking on holiday and reading at a great beach bar...while the better half and Kids are doing there own thing .... Happy daze!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is the business, 22 Feb 2008
This review is from: Casuals: Football, Fighting and Fashion - The Story of a Terrace Cult (Paperback)
This book is brilliant ,if you were there in the 80's you will love this.
Not usual rubbish really interesting well presented and well written.
Goes on about the fashion , the football violence and the music.
You could really relate to the author and the people written about in this book.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Long forgotton gems, 25 Nov 2004
By 
sean keating (Salford England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Casuals: Football, Fighting and Fashion - The Story of a Terrace Cult (Paperback)
I Bought this book to show somebody the coat I once owned (front cover)A journey through fashion like we'd never seen before. Top Top Top read If you were there, wore it and are still wearing it then this book is for you. If you were never there but are a clone islander then buy it to see where you look came from.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Football Fighting & Clothing, 4 Aug 2013
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This review is from: Casuals: Football, Fighting and Fashion - The Story of a Terrace Cult (Paperback)
Great read one of the best books on the subject of casuals
it was very well thought out and great story's from the late 70's &
early 80's must buy
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good Read, 7 Aug 2012
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This review is from: Casuals: Football, Fighting and Fashion - The Story of a Terrace Cult (Paperback)
A good read overall, I thought the introduction was fairly boring but the rest was brilliant. Well worth the money!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars And then came the casuals..., 20 May 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: Casuals: Football, Fighting and Fashion - The Story of a Terrace Cult (Paperback)
Skinheads, punks, mods, rudies, soulboys, psychobillies - things were complicated for a while back there in the late seventies as Britain's subcultural underground fractured into a myriad of often mutually antagonistic youth cults, each defined by what they wore, what they danced to, where they went.
And then came the casuals, and nothing was quite the same again as the soulboy look combined with European sportswear and the exploding football hooli scene to create a subcult that was to dominate working class, British male culture from the early 80's to the current day. Phil Thornton's book traces Casual Culture from Victorian times onwards, and does so with the insight of someone who was there and the pace of someone not up for getting too bogged down in quasi-sociological wiffle. A good read.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A game of two halves, 13 Jan 2004
By 
smitzer (Pompey & Saints (oil and water mix at last)) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Casuals: Football, Fighting and Fashion - The Story of a Terrace Cult (Paperback)
This is a decent stab (sic) at the casuals phenomenon. But the style of the book may surprise you. He's chosen to string together masses of quotes and stories from former casuals and ... er ... that's pretty much it, with a bit of narration thrown in. The origins are handled well though.
You could argue that this is refreshing - because the lad on the terraces (or probably the seats in this case) finally gets his say - rather than some TV journo writing about something completely foreign to them.
Also on the upside, you pick up on the buzz of people parading their first Pringle or seeing off a rival club's firm. These are often unremarkable pub anecdotes that many people could reel off. But they feel as authentic as a treasured Fila BJ from Lillywhites of London. And thousands of former casuals will identify with these tales.
On the downside, there's a woeful lack of decent pictures (if only Lacoste did cameras at the time, eh?). This would have brought colour and life to the book - because a big part of the casual thing was about seeing what people were wearing!
Also, apart from the Millwall>Luton takeover, little is mentioned about casuals making the news headlines.
Finally, the book peters out in the end. But then, so did the craze, kind of.
Overall, it's a game of two halves. A worthy effort. Real people. On the right level. But a big lack of pictures and few defining moments.
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