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Vital Villa Competition

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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 Eventually they were superseded by the C-Crew, a multi-racial gang who came together during Birmingham’s Two-Tone period and the parallel casual era.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.

Use your social login to comment on front page articles. Login using you Facebook, Twitter, Google or LinkedIn accounts and have your say!

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

The Journalist

Writer: J P Fear Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday December 7 2006

Time: 12:06PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
Right lads, my entry is in, good as won already so you might as well all go home :-)
Report Abuse
07/12/2006 12:35:00

Fight you for it jonah.
Report Abuse
07/12/2006 14:41:00

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 :-)
Report Abuse
07/12/2006 14:44:00

As if hooliganism is something we should be proud of?
Report Abuse
07/12/2006 14:49:00

Please get a life joerothuk. If you dont want to read it, then dont.
Report Abuse
07/12/2006 14:56:00

What a strange comment joerothuk. Did anybody here even suggest we should?
Report Abuse
07/12/2006 14:57:00

I think he must be a Guardian reader Glensider ;-)
Report Abuse
07/12/2006 15:14:00

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.
The Fear
Report Abuse
07/12/2006 15:28:00

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!
Report Abuse
07/12/2006 19:42:00

Report Abuse
07/12/2006 19:57:00

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.
The Fear
Report Abuse
07/12/2006 21:07:00

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.
Report Abuse
07/12/2006 21:11:00

He forgot to tell you, iyi gets thrown through you sittingroom window, tied to a brick :-)
Report Abuse
08/12/2006 00:26:00

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
Report Abuse
08/12/2006 05:33:00

Can a Millers fan enter?
Report Abuse
08/12/2006 08:23:00

zipadeedoodah we dont care what beer you drink, thats cool. UTV
Report Abuse
08/12/2006 09:15:00

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!
Report Abuse
08/12/2006 14:00:00

oh and jon? he's a big girl
Report Abuse
08/12/2006 14:01:00

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......
Report Abuse
08/12/2006 14:04:00

yes, but a big girl who CAN fight her way out of a paper bag ;-p
The Fear
Report Abuse
08/12/2006 14:27:00

I totally understand what joerothuk is saying about hooliganism but have no idea why this part: I should have known the the VitalFootball-heavyweight-bully-boys would embrace the launch of a book like this Heavyweight bully boys on probably the most relaxed site out there? Seems to me that there is an agenda somewhere here, not sure what though. Hmmm. Personally I think the site gives air to views from pretty much anyone and there is very little in the way of clicks or nastiness. Ho and indeed hum
The Fear
Report Abuse
08/12/2006 14:29:00

- I think he must be a Guardian reader Glensider ;-) jonah So what if i do enjoy the odd bowl of muesli? The Fear - it just felt as though everyone was ganging up on me after my initial, rather milk-and-water comment and the 'usuals' here were quick to scoff in unison at my remarks! Don't get me wrong, this is definitely the best fan-friendly site out there and evidently i enjoy perusing it daily.
Report Abuse
08/12/2006 17:07:00

joerothuk, i've been watching this thread progress today, its all friendly banter at the end of the day, everyone on here is so passionate that they think they're right, i know i do!!. voiceoftheholte has had one or two backlashes from his comments, but, fortunatley, it doesn't make him hold back the next time. thats whats needed on here, otherwise everybody would agree and it would just get boring. good example is tylervilla, who will now be known as tylergolf, takes the banter on the chin. (mainly from voiceoftheholte!!) stick to your guns joe, its better to have an opinion than just sit on the fence.
Report Abuse
08/12/2006 18:23:00

^^^^^ What bobbyfett said with brass knobs on. You should see the stick these buggers give me! A real mix on this site (and all sites) and people express themselves differently. Hopefully you'll note I was debating not abusing! I do understandwhat you were saying and I'm sure some others feel the same. Just I find the counter cultures in all walks of life fascinating and the book is an explosive read.
The Fear
Report Abuse
08/12/2006 21:24:00

Re: Giving The Fear stick. I've heard that if you do that in the right situation, the answer to the quiz question is "very".
Report Abuse
09/12/2006 00:53:00

Neil Baker, wash your mouth out!?!
The Fear
Report Abuse
09/12/2006 10:46:00

well Mr Fear you did use the words stick and bugger in the same posting, what else can you expect ; )
Report Abuse
09/12/2006 14:12:00

My life really has taken a different turn than I'd expected!! :( Anyway, got the book today and can't put it down, so leave me alone!!!
The Fear
Report Abuse
09/12/2006 15:29:00

Stick? Bugger?..we're not back to the Postma saga again are we?
Report Abuse
09/12/2006 15:33:00

Good call JF - I'll put it on my xmas pressie list but can you first confirm that the name "Ellis" doesn't appear anywhere. If it did, it would certainly spoil my xmas.
Report Abuse
09/12/2006 17:10:00

Only mentioned in passing but as said, the book is one of those that you just can't put down, interesting to see what makes them tick and why they think they got involved.
The Fear
Report Abuse
10/12/2006 12:11:00

Other club's crews have released books and i don't think it done them any harm,it's not like it's an official club book but i would be interested to know if randy will be reading it, probably not.
chris the villan
Report Abuse
11/12/2006 07:28:00


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