Date: 7th December 2006 at 12:07pm
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The Inside Story of Aston Villa’s Hooligan Gangs
By Danny Brown & Paul Brittle

Aston Villa FC is one of the biggest and best-supported football clubs in Britain, the giant from England’s second city with a long and distinguished history in the game, culminating in an unforgettable European Cup victory in 1982.

The story of their terrace army, however, has never been told – until now.

Like all major clubs, Villa have had their hooligans and hardmen, who have been involved in some of the fiercest terrace battles of the past four decades.

VILLAINS traces their gangs from the 1960s up to the present day. Through first-person testimony, it reveals for the first time the antics of The Steamers, who “steamed” away ends led by a band of colourful and fearless characters. Eventually they were superseded by the C-Crew, a multi-racial gang who came together during Birmingham’s Two-Tone period and the parallel casual era.

This was the heyday of hooliganism, and the Villa Park faithful clashed with the toughest and most violent gangs around. At the helm were legendary figures such as Pete the Greek, who famously head-butted a police horse and took on the Millwall leader in a one-on-one brawl, and “Black” Danny Brown, who was jailed in 1981 for one of the most infamous football-related attacks.

Bitter rivalries against clubs from across the Midlands and beyond are recounted in depth, including the notorious “battle at McDonalds island” against Birmingham City’s Zulus in 2002. The story is brought up to date with tales of the Villa Youth, one of the most active of the recent soccer firms.

The book is available in most WHS, Waterstone’s, Border’s and HMV stores (certainly across the west midlands) and it is available to order at £15.99 with free p&p on all UK orders from the Milo Books website

To win one of two copies of the book answer the following brain teasingly difficult question and email telling me your username (you must be registered on Vital), answer, name and address. Also tell me how great I am, it always helps.

How hard is JP Fear?

1) He could fight his way out of a paper bag
2) He could crush a grape un-assisted
3) He could knock the skin off a rice pudding
4) He would say boo to a goose
5) Whatever, just send me the book

Competition closes on 14th December. Judges decision final. Names will be pulled out of a hat, bribes won’t be accepted, nor will creeping!! Only UK entries will be accepted.


32 Replies to “Vital Villa Competition”

  • No need Glensider, there’s 2 copies up for grabs, you have one, I’ll have the other, then we’ll fight whoever else comes on here 🙂

  • fair comment joerothuk, I don’t think it is a case of being proud of it, the authors don’t glamorise it either, but it is a part of what has gone on in football and makes for fascinating reading.

  • hmmm i’ve got to get a life? you’re the one who’s life consists of aspiring to be top of the VitalFootball memership league table… I should have known the the VitalFootball-heavyweight-bully-boys would embrace the launch of a book like this and deride any person that questions whether its intentions lie in the right places.
    enjoy your book!

  • Yeah, I know what you are saying, but it is all part of the football culture, whether we talk about it or not, it all happened. I don’t think this points the finger at Villa being any worse than anyone else, just a part of what went on/goes on.

  • It is part of our history, our evolution as fans, although it is common knowledge that a lot of the so called fans were not, they just turned up for the fights, that mentality still exists, the last match at Everton for instance, a good proportion of the fans were so engrossed in the chanting at the opposition and telling them to “calm down” (much to my amusement) that they were missing a lot of the action on the pitch, It’s just a fact that we are still tribal and have those urges, so Up the Villa Tribe.

  • I read a book about Pol Pot once, but I am not a Khmer Rouge sympathizer. Sounds like a good read-my entry is in. I’ll have to “cyber”scrap you guys for the book, though, as my reach isn’t what it should be.-MikeinCanada

  • I have got the book, only read the preface, it looks mint though, cant wait to find the time out of the pub to read it!

  • i also feel ashamed of the legal system in the UK when rapists, drunk drivers, killers, sex offenders, thieves, muggers, con-men and those that commit treason get shorter sentances or nothing at all then the footy fans who get involved with organised violence against one another like the Villa V WBA report this week with 50+ convictions. These guys cause no harm to the public apart from themselves……

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