The Biggest Hooligan Clubs in English Football: Part 3
Stay tuned for our final edition Part 4, as we round out the top 10 biggest hooligan clubs in England.
The Herd (Arsenal)
The Herd became active in 1978 and were active mostly through the 80s and early 90s. The main rivalries of The Herd are with firms of London clubs West Ham, Tottenham, Chelsea and Millwall. Some of the firm consider themselves non-violent and the firm prefers to operates covertly in recent times.
During the 2000 UEFA Cup Final and as revenge for the stabbing of two Leeds United fans by a Galatasaray fan in the UEFA Cup semi-final, The Herd led a unified attack on Galatasaray fans with hooligan firms representing Chelsea, Cardiff City, Swansea, Leeds, Rangers and Linfield.
Former leader of The Herd Dainton Connell became a cult hero, influential in ensuring the far-right British National Party did not infiltrate The Herd like they did other firms in England. More than 3,000 mourners attended his funeral in 2007 including several ex-players.
Soul Crew (Cardiff City)
The Soul Crew (Criw Enaid Dinas Caerdydd) were founded in 1983 and have historically been one of the most active football firms across the United Kingdom. The firms name was inspired through some of the original firms love for soul music. Members of the Soul Crew have traditionally been multicultural reflecting the city of Cardiff itseld, and like Millwall, many of the firms members are from the hardened dock areas of Cardiff.
Despite playing mostly in the fourth division during the height of hooliganism, the firm gained a reputation as one of the toughest for opposition to face. The Soul Crew's biggest rivalry is with the 6:57 crew of Portsmouth however, almost all of the big hooligan firms across England see Soul Crew as a rival because of their notoriety as well as seeing the firm as 'invaders' due to their Welsh identity.
6.57 Crew (Portsmouth)
Established in 1979, the 6.57 Crew got their name from the first train time of the day that took Portsmouth fans to London for Saturday games. The firm were one of the most active during the 1980s causing mayhem across England.
In 2001 the firm were involved in a fight against Coventry City fans at an away game, ripping up stadium seats and throwing them at Coventry fans. In 2004, 93 fans were arrested following riots against rivals Southampton, including a 10-year old boy who became the youngest ever hooligan to be convicted in the UK. Before the 2006 World Cup in Germany, 130 fans who were mostly 6.57 Crew had to give up their passports meaning they could not attend the World Cup.
All the way from the Land Down Under, I created Wolfgang Sport as I enjoy writing and watching British and American sports. Started in 2017, I started the blog as a way to connect my passion for sports in the US & UK. Sign up to the newsletter today_ and I'll prove Aussies know more about your own sports than you think.