The Biggest Hooligan Clubs in English Football: Part 2
Click here for Part 1 of The Biggest Hooligan Clubs in English Football. Stay tuned for Part 3.
Service Crew (Leeds United)
The Service Crew are a Leeds United associated football firm founded in 1974. Named after the trains that took the firm to away matches, the Service Crew would take these trains instead of the heavily policed football chartered trains. The main rivals of the Service Crew are:
- Milwall Bushwackers (Millwall)
- Red Army (Manchester United)
- Hull City Psychos (Hull City)
- Soul Crew (Cardiff City)
- Chelsea Headhunters (Chelsea)
- Birmingham Zulu Warriors (Birmingham)
The Service Crew were involved in a major disturbance after the 1975 European Cup finals. Enraged at two penalty appeals being turned down in a 2-nil loss to Bayern Munich, Leeds fans ripped seats from the Parc des Princes stands throwing them onto the pitch. Leeds would become the first English club to be banned from European competition as a result.
In 1985 a 14-year-old boy died at St Andrew's stadium when a wall collapsed, tumbling as a result of Leeds fans being pushed up against the wall by police. An estimate 1000+ crowd had been involved in the riot with almost 100 policemen injured.
So bad was Leeds reputation for hooliganism, non-league club Telford United refused to host Leeds in an FA Cup third round tie in 1987; the game instead played at West Bromwich Albion.
The Service Crew were one of the most notorious firms not only in England, but in Europe. Shout out to @nathen007 a member of the Sports Talk community and Leeds fan who recounts his own experiences of attending Leeds games as a 15 year old, watching the Service Crew who occupied the South Stand from the Kop.
"The service crew wore their designer sports gear with pride in the 80s, Sergio Tacchini, Fila and Ellesse...usually ending up being covered with blood! Being a teenage Leeds fan in the 80s was scary, dangerous and disappointing".
The Zulu Warriors (Birmingham City)
Active since 1982, the Zulu Warriors are the most notorious football firm associated with Birmingham City. The name came about from a Manchester City fans chant "Zulu, Zulu" in reference to Birmingham's multicultural fanbase; the name then adopted by the firm in an endearing manner.
The Zulu Warriors differed from other firms especially in its earlier days, as almost all hooligan firms were exclusively white at the time. So dangerous and violent were the Zulu Warriors throughout the 80's, West Midlands Police launched Operation Red Card in 1987 to infiltrate the firm which resulted in the arrests of many of its members.
Recently the firm has been involved in the Cardiff City riots of 2001 which resulted in a pub getting smashed. There was also the violence during the 2002 play-offs with Millwall which a veteran police officer described as the worst violence they'd experienced.
In 2006 during an away FA Cup match between Birmingham and Stoke City, members of the Zulu Warriors were involved in what was described as extreme violence after tearing down segregating fencing before scuffles broke out.
The Zulu Warriors have a fierce rivalry with Aston Villa Hardcore as well as firms from West Ham, Cardiff City, Stoke City, Millwall, West Bromwich and Wolverhampton. The Zulu Warriors featured in the movie Green Street alongside the Green Street Elite, a fictional firm based on the West Ham affiliated Inter City Firm.
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