Tag Archives: football

Crew’s Missile

Letter about casuals in Sounds, 26 May, 1984 from Anti Social Workers singer, Paul Wellings.

Crew’s Missile

I have nothing against the “soccer casual” music and clothes movement. In fact most of my mates wear the gear when we go to see West Ham and it has style. But I really must have a go at the “under five mentality” from the younger elements of the once glorious ICF, and other well organised crews like Pompey Glory Boys, Scouse Scallies etc.
Cos these kids dress to kill (sometimes literally) in all the Tacchini, Fila, Burberry and Head gear, they seem to think the movement means giving our own kind a good kicking or sticking Uncle Stanley in some ordinary geezer’s kidneys.
I remember all the times I’ve followed West Ham (way back to the original ICF, Rejects, drinking, having a crack etc), and Spurs and Luton Town and have gone with people to actually watch the game. And I follow these three teams (even though I was born in Wapping, East London and should by rights murder anyone who doesn’t support West Ham), cos I love their style of football, cos I’ve moved to different areas and cos most of all I hate the mindless tribal, territorial warfare similar to the Krays vs the Richardsons.
At least when the old bill get hospitalised, it’s a welcome change from attacking the other teams’ fans. Some, like the ICF, have the style and organisation to ruck without getting nicked (but most of it is brainless tribal war) and others have more suss to know the filth are the real enemy.
It’s a pity anger was not saved for the rich scumbags in the directors’ boxes treating football like a monopoly game for real, or the nazi wankers bringing racist shit into our grounds (it would be great to organise leafletting on same scale as we did at Upton Park, White Hart Lane etc in the ANL days – where we got a terrific response). I’m very much a lumpen prole.
It’s better to attack these sort of people and enjoy our game again than thrashing some working class geezer like me or you, who lives down the road or up North, cos their team is different.
Soccer casuals, if it means anything, means pride in your background, going to the football with your girl, laughs, self-respect, style, soul, lover’s rock, funk etc. Like Mod and Tamla, Skins and Trojan reggae, Punks and the Pistols, Casual both music and clothes, as Garry Bushell said, comes from the streets and not the industries, and for those into it, it hasn’t meant reconsidering your mortgage to buy the gear – cos the black market is booming. (Ask Scotland Yard! Look sharp, think sharp!) – Paul (Geezer) of reggae rockers the Anti Social Workers, Wapping.

Feeling Small

The Sunday Times magazine, 3 August, 1980 has 3 poems selected by Michael Rosen.

Rosen’s Choice
Michael Rosen picks some of your poems about feeling small

Thanks for your small talk about feeling small. Sorry, David Paske, your feeling small poem was too big! To be fair to everyone, Start Here poems should never be longer than postcard size.
I liked these very much:

When I was only about 10
I always wanted to play football with my big brother
and all his big friends.
So he said,
“If you come, and you get hurt,
and come and complain to me
you’ll never come with me again.”
So the next day
I got all my football gear ready
and I went out with my brother
thinking that I looked really good – big.
But when we got there
the size of the other team was frightening –
big,
and I began to get a bit worried.
I felt so big
when I was mouthing around
but when it came to it
I felt so small.

Thomas Ioannou, aged 13

Herbert Lemons

Another letter in the herbert saga from Sounds, 20 March, 1983.

Herbert Lemons

In reply to the moron (alias Ricky of Scotty’s mob, issue dated March 6) who claimed that cockneys were copying the northeners, I would like to pose the question ‘How the hell does he know northeners were the first to dress in the Herbert style?’
I do not wish to claim that Londoners were the first to dress in the style that pricky Ricky describes, but spaeaking as an Arsenal supporter, we at Highbury have been going to football matches wearing Herbert gear for at least three seasons.
To say that Arsenal copy these northeners is crap!
Us Arsenal herberts DO NOT wear cords, tracksuit tops or hooded sports anoraks, as he so ignorantly claimed. The general Herbert style at Highbury is (from head to toe) Fila or La Coste t-shirts, Gabbici turtlenecks, Burberry macs (exclusive to London, Paris and New York!), cashmere scarves, faded Lois jeans with frayed bottoms and ‘Nike Wimbledon/Stan Smith’ training shoes or Kickers.
With regard to other football clubs in London, I’m sure the likes of West Ham, Chelsea and Millwall (note I am ignoring Spurs) all have their own individual breed of Herbert and are not ‘hard up for ideas’. As far as I’m concerned, after reading the many and varied descriptions of a Herbert, there is no such thing as a copycat or stereotyped Herbert.

Kevin Corrigan of the Jesuit College in Turkey Street, Enfield

Poetry At Football

Poetry sold at football grounds in 1975, a report from Workshop New Poetry, number 27.

The bookseller says poetry doesn’t sell. The big publishers are shortening or closing their lists. What hopes, then, for the unknown writer – unless we are content to stay forever between the covers of poetry magazines? And what hope of expansion for poetry magazines like ‘Workshop’ that have to rely on subscriptions to exist at all?

These are some of the reasons that led me to carry out experiments in taking poetry into public places, for I contend that if it can be more readily available and well displayed, it will sell.

My most recent scheme was to try to interest Chelsea football supporters. I set up a stand near Chelsea Football Ground and carried a wide range of ‘little mags’, a few individual poets, a couple of Corgi and Penguin anthologies, two Poetry Society anthologies and the poems of Thomas Hardy. Ten books were sold in two hours. Not amazing considering the number of people who passed, but it encouraged me to try again on the two following Saturdays. The League Cup sold only four. Arsenal nine. Books sold were thirteen Workshop publications, two Samphire, two Expression, one Poetry Society anthology, one Bangladesh collection, one ‘Doves for the 70’s’ and three books by individual poets.

I copied short poems of different appeal onto posters, these were read with obvious interest by many of the passing fans. A number of people stopped just to browse or chat about poetry. They came singly, in couples, girls together, boys together, bearded intellectuals, mums, dads, a couple of drunks and a tramp. Young, middle-aged, old. One customer, aged 75, bought an anthology on the strength of some of the classic poets included in it, and hobbled happily into the Black Bull, where he started reciting his favourite pieces.

A young man rushed up just before kick-off saying he wanted some poems urgently to see him through the match – he didn’t mind which so long as they were interesting! Poetry for children was asked for several times.

My helpers enjoyed the experience to such an extent that they have committed me to other football fixtures during the season.

I would now send a call for action to others – Poetry Groups perhaps – that they, too, try selling poetry at public functions, sports meetings, or wherever crowds go, endeavouring at the same time to get national press coverage. The odder the place the better for publicity. Get police permission first and a shelf-type display stand from a friendly shop. The editors of Workshop and similar magazines will supply stocks; the Poetry Society has its anthologies, and Betty Parvin’s new, beautifully illustrated Bird Book should have immediate appeal as a gift (‘A Birchtree with Finches’, 75p, Dillons University Bookshop, Nottingham). I can supply some printed ‘POETRY’ display cards.

If done over the country and continually, this kind of selling could gain public interest, make booksellers change their attitude and publishers re-open their lists. Incidentally, money taken goes in full to the appropriate magazine or poet.

Eileen Warren