West Ham are probably one of the main football clubs most people would name if they were asked to list teams associated with football hooliganism.
Their main firm the ICF (Inter City Firm) have been the subject of several television documentaries and films so of course it stands to reason theres also several books as well, below is the five Im aware of.
Want Some Aggro
‘A mob of 1000 skinheads running along a road is a frightening sight. Into the tube gates we rushed. On the tube, there was the usual knees up mother brown, with the whole carriage full of skinheads jumping up and down, the train rocking from side to side. Mile End and all out…want some aggro?’
It’s the 1970s, a time of skinheads, Doctor Martens, violence and trouble on the terraces. The Mile End Mob rule Upton Park. Long before the days of the ruthless InterCity Firm casuals, they were the first guv’nors of the terraces, striking fear into the other West Ham mobs and fans. Micky Smith, die-hard Hammers fan, was there in the thick of the action, he saw it all as it happened. Here he teams up with bestselling author, ex-ICF face and West Ham authority Cass Pennant to recall these action-packed and turbulent times.
Indeed, it was the reputation and respect commanded by the East End Bovver Boys that drove a hardcore of hooligans to create the notorious InterCity Firm and establish their rule over the terraces up and down the country in the 1980s. Here is the story of what came before the ICF. Thrilling, dramatic and brutally honest it will fascinate any football fan or social historian.
The Names Bill Gardner
He arrived to rally the troops, the main man in the Inter City Firm and his greeting passed into football fan history. ‘Afternoon, gentlemen, the name’s Bill Gardner.’ That introduction alone was often enough to provoke sheer terror in his opponents.
He is a genuine legend to anyone who’s ever stood proud on a football terrace. No serious book on the culture would be complete without at least one mention of him. And now at last, he’s telling his own, long-awaited story.
For the first time, Gardner himself reveals what made him the top man, including his innermost thoughts and his memories of the classic years for football fans. And many familiar faces have queued up to add their comments in this book which shows just what it is that makes Bill Gardner unique among the toughest and the greatest of them all.
Congratulations – You Have Just Met The ICF
Cass Pennant was one of the best-known figures of the I.C.F. He has used his unique position as a West Ham insider to bring together these first-hand accounts of the men who were at the eye of the storm, both on and off the terraces. These tales from the terraces range from the inflamed East End rivalry with Millwall, to the shed-end-battles with Chelsea, from aggravation at Anfield’s Kop to the disaster at Heysel. The stories unfold against a backdrop of sharp fashion and music, such as The Cockney Rejects and Sham 69 that became the hallmark of the hoolifans.
For The Claret And Blue
Two or three of them came over and asked what team I was …they followed me at a distance and when I looked across the platform I saw the other lads from the train getting a good kicking. I felt uneasy and was obviously next on their list for a hiding. I could not bottle it. I had to front it and act as normal as possible…You don’t choose West Ham – it chooses you.
Following West Ham United is not about how many pieces of silverware the team can win. For true fans, it’s a lifelong, sometimes agonising passion. In 1964, when footballing legend Bobby Moore held the FA cup aloft for West Ham, Micky Smith was in the crowd, experiencing the unique thrill of seeing his club emerge victorious. In 1967, when Manchester United came to the East End, Micky witnessed the birth of the football hooligan.
This is the gripping, inside account of run-ins with the police, rivalry between firms and events such as Heysel that changed the face of football as we know it today.
The life story of Cass Pennant is packed with amazing stories of a life lived on the edge of the law. In this amazing book, he tells of how he saved World Boxing Champion, Frank Bruno from a vicious knife attack; how he was shot three times in the chest and still kept on fighting and how he was alleged to be the leader of the notorious West Ham ‘InterCity Firm’.’
When you see a man like Frank Bruno in trouble, you don’t have time to think about yourself. You just go in there with your fists and do what you have to do…’
As well as Ebay and Amazon we do occasionaly have copies of these, as well as loads of other football hooligan books, for sale on our own Footybooks site here .