Better to be a grafter, than a grifter! -J Allday

Casuals


Donkey jackets and workman’s boots - Steve Vaughan


"Around that time westham supporters and I mean proper your every day working class lads used to wear donkey jackets, Levi jeans and Dr Martins boots. I was at a game at manchester city, must’ve been October ‘75; there must’ve been only 30 of us in a coach going to the game. Upon arrival it was like that film Zulu with Michael Caine; there were 100"s of them, they came at us from everywhere. Working class, red eyed, teeth gritting, foaming at the mouth northerners. We got over run. It wasn’t difficult to understand why, they wanted to kill us and being such a small visiting crowd the home fans wanted nothing less than to really give it to us. I mingled in with the city fans, then somebody shouted, “He’s West Ham, he’s got a donkey jacket!” Before I knew it, a bloke tried to put a carving knife in me. I got away. Needless to say I stopped wearing a donkey jacket after that, and it had fuck all to do with smart jackets and a new pair of trainers"


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A Working Class Creation - J Allday


The casual subculture is a subsection of football culture that is typified by hooliganism and the wearing of expensive designer clothing (known sometimes as "clobber"). The subculture gained main stream exposure in the United Kingdom in the early 1980’s when many hooligans started wearing designer clothing labels and expensive sportswear such as Stone Island, CP Company, Lacoste, Paul And Shark, Sergio Tacchinio, Fila and Ellesse. Some have suggested in order to avoid the attention of police and to intimidate rivals, others have said it was simply their way of showing them ‘getting ahead’. The same fans did not wear club colours, so it was allegedly easier to infiltrate rival groups and to enter pubs. Some casuals have worn clothing items similar to those worn by Mods. Casuals have been portrayed in films and television programmes such as ID, The Firm and The Football Factory.


History 


In the ’60’s it was all about the skinhead. The terraces took on the fashion. But at the time, skinheads were very much political and football fans might like a bit of violence on a Saturday, they might hate the government in power, but they were never political. Plus, they were really easy to spot, which made them an easy target for the Police regardless of whether they were causing trouble or not. Back then it was more acceptable to tar everyone with the same brush.


The designer clothing and fashion aspect of the casual subculture began in the mid-to-late 1970s. One well documented precursor was the trend of Liverpool youths starting to dress differently from other football fans — in Peter Storm jackets, straight-leg jeans and Adidas trainers. Liverpool F.C fans were the first British football fans to have heavy exposure to largely unknown brands which gave them the claim to wearing continental European fashions, which they picked up while following their teams at matches in Europe. The claims of ’scousers’ being the originators of the ‘casual’, has always been argued by many of the London based clubs. 


The other documented precursor, according to Colin Blaney, was a subculture known as Perry Boys, which originated in the mid 1970s as a precursor to the casuals. The Perry Boys subculture consisted of Manchester football hooligans styling their hair into a flick and wearing sportswear, FRed Perry shirts and Dunlop Green Flash trainers.


These days, an estimated 15 million people go to watch football matches and the casual is as strong as ever. It’s about Lacoste and Stone Island, C.P Company and Lyle & Scott. Fred Perry has stayed with the casual since the skinhead days, and now there are new brands like Weekend Offender, designed specifically for the casual.


Stone Island


Probably the most iconic brand of the Casual, Stone Island was first made popular in the 1980’s. It has a distinctive motif that is displays proudly, normally on the sleeve. It’s their coats and knitwear that are most common, but that’s probably due to the British weather, football is an autumn and winter sport. Every casual wants a Stone Island sweater in their wardrobe.

Casual Continued

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Casuals. More than a single generation

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Main Stream taking note in the '80's / '90's of the expense


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Lads at football

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Classic Nouveau - popular amongst some London clubs

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C.P clothing - for the casual conoisseur  

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Stone Island - Standard issue for the home grown hooligans

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Casuals & Hooligans-Documented & Popularised

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Casuals - Phil Thornton

Casuals - Football, Fighting and Fashion - The Story of a Terrace Cult

First came the Teds, the the Mods, Rockers, Hippies, Skinheads, Suedeheads and Punks. But by the late Seventies, a new youth fashion had appeared in Britain. Its adherents were often linked to violent football gangs, wore designer sportswear and made the bootboys of previous years look like the dinosaurs they were. They were known as scallies, Perry Booys, trendies and dressers. But the name that stuck was Casuals. And this grassroots phenomenon, largely ignored by the media, was to change the face of both British fashion and international style. Casuals recounts how the working-class fascination with sharp dressing and sartorial one-upmanship crystallized the often bitter rivalries of the hooligan crews and how their culture spread across the terraces, clubs and beyond. It is the definitive book for football, music and fashion obsessives alike.

Author Phil Thornton explains how the hooligan firms evolved and describes how the working-class fascination with sharp dressing and sartorial one-upmanship crystallised the often bitter rivalries of crews across England The recent explosion in terrace fashion websites has given a voice to the international sub-culture that continues to be fascinated by the changing idiosyncrasies of this much misunderstood scene. With articles from contemporary magazines and fanzines and a gallery of unseen photographs, Casuals is the definitive book for football, music and fashion obsessives alike

Good Afternoon Gentleman, The Name's Bill Gardner

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Bill Gardner has featured in many of the most respected books on the great football firms and this is the first time he has told his own story.

Bloody Casuals: Diary Of A Football Hooligan

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The memoirs of a Scottish football hooligan. one of the first documented accounts of a football hooligan 

Soul Crew

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The Cardiff Soul Crew. Two men closely involved with the gang tell its history from its origins through to the present day.

Hoolifan: 30 Years Of Hurt

Hoolifan is the story of  Martin King, and his experiences spanning three decades with Chelsea

Hoolifan is the story of one man, Martin King, and his experiences spanning three decades with Chelsea 

Rolling with the 6.57 Crew

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The story of the Portsmouth 6:57 Crew, Portsmouth's hooligan fan base during the 1980's and 1990

Steaming in: Journal Of A Football Fan

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An account of life on the terraces in the 1970s and 80s. Colin Ward relates experiences at Arsenal, home and abroad.

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Rise of the Footsoldier - life from the football terraces to gangland

The first thing that caught my eye was the geezer with the gold tooth - the second was that he was holding a shooter - and the third that he was pointing it at me.' Carlton Leach is a gangland legend - the mere mention of his name strikes fear into his enemies; yet to his friends he is as loyal and caring as they come. If trouble comes calling, Carlton isn't afraid to let his fists do the talking and woe betide anyone who crosses him, or those close to him. At last, in Rise of the Footsoldier, Carlton gives the full account of his life including how his story has been made into a hugely successful film. Born and raised in East London, Carlton was a key member of the notorious Essex Boys gang and the West Ham InterCity Firm, one of the most violent hooligan gangs to trouble the football terraces during the eighties. He's been shot at, stabbed, glassed - he's even had an axe in his head. Yet the event that really brought turmoil into his life was the murder of his best friend in the infamous Range Rover murders. Carlton vowed that he would find those responsible and make them pay. There isn't much that Carlton hasn't seen or experienced in his life and his tales of violence, gang wars and close calls with death will have you on the edge of your seat. He knows how close he has come to dying and has therefore shut the door on a gangland life. He may have changed but, as he himself says, 'I'll always need to exercise the Carlton Leach brand of justice. It's in me - '

Carlton Leach is one of the most respected and feared faces in the London underworld. Carlton was featured in the acclaimed documentary on football violence, Hooligan, and was also one of the select few to have an episode of Kate Kray's Hard Bastards dedicated to them. His life story has now been made into a major film, Rise of the Foot Soldier.