Soul Crew: The Inside Story of a Soccer Hooligan Gang Paperback – 1 Mar 2002
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The Inside Story of Britain's Most Violent Hooligan Gang; The Cardiff Soul Crew are recognised by police intelligence officers as the most violent football hooligan gang currently active in Britain. Their 400-plus members have been involved in mass disorder at matches for more than twenty-five years. Yet they have largely escaped the notoriety of their English counterparts - until now. Two men closely involved with the gang tell its history from its origins through to the present day: their leaders, their fashions, how they organise and who they fight. "Soul Crew" relates how an infamous clash with Manchester United's Red Army in the mid-Seventies was the impetus for the formation of the mob. A core group of hardcases from the tough Docks area of Cardiff was joined by alienated, unemployed youths from the valleys and former pit villages of South Wales. They took their name from their love of soul music and adopted the 'casual' fashion of designer-label clothes. In time they would fight fierce battles with rivals like the Frontline Crew, the Bushwhackers, the Gooners and the Central Element.
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Top Customer Reviews
I liked the fact that despite the press hype the authors are relatively modest in ther claims for infamy conceeding that the likes of Chelsea and Midddlesbrough have indeed 'clipped' the wings of the 'Blubirds'. Unlike other football hooligan books the Soul Crew, although itself a fearsome and tough mob do not claim the pretence of being invincible unlike the much over-hyped ICF.
The style in which it is written keeps the readers interest and is not a repetitive diatribe of season after season of violence.
The book is more thematic than a typical book of this type, the casual scence is continually woven in to the patchwork of football aggro, thus providing a sense of depth and scope which makes it all the more readable.
It is also written with a dry and sardonic wit which has proven to be a revelation to those of us who want more than just a chronological documentation of violence. The authors obvious intelligence helps purge the crass notion that football hooligans are mindless morons. It is fascinating that men who are patently quite bright should choose such a turbelent vocation '..when saturday comes'.
Set against the backdrop of one of Britains most deprived social areas the boys of the Valleys and the less affluent areas of Wales' capital city tap into the football casual phenomena during the early 1980's and contine unabated right to the present day.Read more ›
Both male authors describe a slow change that takes place in their lives around adolescence. Previously interested in the game of football itself, they start to feel and nurture a deep interest in the clothes other boys are wearing (described here in great detail)at the match, their hairstyles, whose appearance is the most satisfying to the eye and so on. Inevitably this leads to physical contact.
They find this physical contact extremely exciting and gratifying and seek to repeat the experience every weekend. At the start, these brief encounters are with total strangers and are both short-lived and aggressive, as is the norm. But, slowly, as the lads' network expands the trysts become more organised and arrangements to meet and engage are made with other well turned out gents from around the country.
Equally inevitably, the police are keeping a watchful and disapproving eye. So from having it off in front of everyone at a stadium, the physical side of things has to develop in semi-private circumstances: back alleys and tube stations become the venue for these disapproved of physical deeds. Still they crave more.
As with Oscar Wilde, the police continue to intrude but by this stage our well-presented, strong, masculine gents have found the rave scene. Dark rooms, different clothes to talk about and yet more physical proximity mmmmm.....
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Read this a few years back.. One of the most boring books I have ever read. Read the first couple of chapters and the rest of the book is much of the same. Read morePublished on 22 Sept. 2011 by Speago
especially as these lads werent at many of these matches, I thought they did a good job in putting this book together. Read morePublished on 13 Oct. 2009 by Mr. A. Abraham
This book was a much more interesting read than I anticipated. My expectation was of an over-opinionated, macho-oriented discussion of the invincibility of Cardiff's Soul Crew. Read morePublished on 15 Aug. 2009 by JFD
An appallingly written self justification by a group of Cardiff 'supporting' thugs with nothing better to do than cause trouble and ruin things for people that just want to support... Read morePublished on 1 Mar. 2009 by Keeping it Real since 1977
One of my top 5 hooligan books, and I'm a Newport County fan. Well-written, entertaining, seems to be fairly truthful and having two different points of view in one book is a nice... Read morePublished on 8 Oct. 2008 by Mr. M. A. Pritchard
good and funny in places with great detail of the encounters the authors had but not a patch on some other books i have readPublished on 6 Aug. 2008 by gareth
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