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on 2 October 2012
After a brief Facebook discussion with the author about the subject a couple of weeks ago, I picked up 'Kicking Off' to see how the opinions of Dougie compared with my own and although I'd have to disagree with a small handful of his views on hooliganism, he does raise points which challenge the typical media soundbites that they would rather you believed. I've seen other writers in this genre attacking Dougie for his previous work but in fairness, the world would be a poorer place if our opinions were all the same.

'Kicking Off' doesn't really teach us anything new about hooliganism if we already have a reasonable amount of knowledge on the subject, although Dougie and his views on a more passive modern football culture definitely concur with my own. Where I tend to disagree is the opinion Dougie has on how the hooligan problem has changed. While marginalised, there is still a very strong element of older men who engage in violence more regularly than they should. Until football is rid of them, the problem will always be simmering away with the potential to explode again at any time within the new generation of disenfranchised young supporters. This isn't to say Dougie is wrong; it's just a question that we see the same problem slightly differently and if the book provokes thought, the writer has clearly done his job.

Where the book excels is on the subject of racism in football and Dougie is spot-on with his views that racism is being kept alive in football not by the fans or hooligans, but by the very people who claim to abhor it. Dougie tackles the motives of the anti-racism gravy train with uncanny accuracy and says what many of us have been thinking for years, myself included. He also suggests (correctly) that it is actually the fans who have done more to virtually eradicate racism in football within the UK and not the groups or organisations that continue to live like parasites off the dead body of football in the late 70s and early 80s.

This is one of the more challenging efforts Dougie has written but it maintains the typically simple style that makes it easy for the average fan to read. The entire genre and prejudices of football, hooliganism and racism won't work for those with different ideas to the author. For those who hold a personal dislike to those who were nowhere to be seen when racism was actually a problem, however, 'Kicking Off' will probably reinforce the fact that you shouldn't be uncomfortable with your own perceptions. In truth, you were probably right all along.
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on 31 May 2006
Like many fans of this author I have been waiting for another book for a while now and have to say that this one is certainly worth the wait.

Although it appears to cover much of the ground already gone over in previous books, here Brimson delves into the issues and history far more deeply than before and provides some astonishing and extremely thought provoking opinions into what goes on behind the scenes. It certainly got me thinking although it must be said that much of the content will surely send would send the PC lobby into apoplexy!

The most interesting chapter however, is entitled Echelon. Initially, given the subject matter and the format, it sits oddly within the context of the book but as you read through it, it really does make sense and provides a genuine 'wow!' factor.

But much the same can be said for the entire book which is certainly a cut above the usual hoolie-lit 'beat-em-ups' which have surely become stale and boring now.
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on 1 August 2006
As someone else has mentioned, this isn't the usual hooligan book full of 'we did this, they did that' type stories. Instead, Brimson has put together a thought provoking book which provides, certainly for this reader, a spot on analysis of some of the less savoury things going on behind the scenes at football in the year 2006.
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on 2 November 2006
Mr Brimson once again excels in his book writing skills, This is a brilliant and sound book, The way he has gone about getting vital stats information on the hooligan scene is astounding.

I also like the way he makes you think of certain subjects which could be thought of taboo in todays society due to the PC brigade and librals amongst us, I find his books are spot on.

I also want to touch on the chapter named ECHELON as another reviewer has done befor me, If you only buy the book for this chapter alone it is well worth the read, It will blow your head of what is been suggested.


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on 11 July 2006
.....from the author that started this genre of book.

This is a thought provoking read from start to finish and would recomend people actually READ it, DIGEST it and then actually THINK about what has been painstakingly researched and written down so that even the less intelligent amongst us can understand just what is happening to the gam we love.

More of this please Mr Brimson
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on 31 August 2007
I approached this book with interest, but quickly tired of it. It read like an aging bloke seeking the approval of a younger reader, and to me at least, didn't stand up to much scrutiny. There was way too much opinion masquerading as fact, too much self-promotion (see the 'Hoolie Lit' chapter especially) and too many contradictory rants. The most amusing part of the book was the childish tirade about When Saturday Comes contributors for having the temerity to suggest that the 'hoolie lit' genre is, in fact generally quite poor. The sub title, 'Why hooliganism and racism are killing football" is fairly misleading as I felt he spent much of his time condoning some hooligan activity as basically youthful highjinks, while at the same time offering a conspiratorial 'well done' wink even when rebuking activities, (especially when discussing English fans dishing out 'retaliatory' beatings to Turkish fans). I picked this book up for 99p in a book outlet, and still felt as though I'd been overcharged.
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