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This review is from: Naughty - the story of a football hooligan gang (Kindle Edition)
Mark Chester's guerrilla approach to that which is before him resulted not only in his spearheading the rise of S.C.F.C.'s Naughty 40, it has also resulted in a genre defying appraisal of his life. Honesty was evidently the frame upon which he stretched his story, Mark Chester has gone toe to toe with his past, present, future and hardest of all for anyone, himself. Instead of a football special/coach hire travelogue of bad half-time pies and tough boozers he has approached this project the way that he has lived his life, as a game casual. While there are of course accounts of brawling as an adrenaline sport, mayhem as a pastime and when the rolled dice dictated it violence as a tool, there is a depth of articulation that belies public perception. This is not just another volume produced for a firm's profile and trophy cabinet; it is an erudite literary exploration of a subculture which is part of the national sport and working class culture while often still remaining beyond the ken of a wider society. Hooligans, casuals, thugs, pick your epithet, are as similar and unique as any other social grouping; the empathy and pathos with which many of the tales are told show a support network and humanity unthinkable to those who cannot comprehend that these men and boys are not demons grown in test tubes. Naughty is a piece of social history which anyone who is interested in how society works, or just well written truthful literature, will enjoy. Mark Chester has given us a reflection of his life told not with smoke and mirrors, but with the swashbuckling valour that was his stock in trade. This is autobiography tackled as if taking an end, get in the middle of it of it and stand. There's a couple of poems in there that some say aren't bad either.