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Before The Football Factory...Before The Firm .....Before Donal Mcintyre there was Hooligan the seminal TV expose that so shocked film director Alan Clark that he made The Firm about the notorious group of violent football supporters, the West Ham Inter City Firm or ICF . Hooligan is a look inside football s first family of fear, the ICF . Before them football hooligans could be easily identified as Doctor Marten, Levi and Ben Sherman wearing skin heads, not anymore. The ICF changed the entire football violence landscape; they were professionals from all walks of life.... Designer clothes-wearing, first class travel using and above all, organised. They made prior appointments with rival clubs firms and travelled first class to meet them, always with their special friend Stanley . Once a humble builder s tool, the Stanley knife became the weapon of choice for those involved. No football colours, colours were for scarfers (normal supporters), no singing and if it was a drab northern ground probably no match as the meet had been arranged for elsewhere. City centres were reduced to little more that looted shops and burnt out cars, innocent by-standers civilians looked on in horror as the rival firms fought with each other, and the police. No longer were the participants mindless tribes of knuckle dragging youths, the ICF were a new breed of otherwise successful, mostly well off people who got off on violence for its own sakes. Football had become the vehicle, the public at large the audience. You could tell that you had been turned over by the ICF , they had business cards printed with the legend you have just met the famous ICF, have a nice day , and after Stanley had paid his respects the unlucky person got a calling card as a memento. Hooligan is a groundbreaking documentary that goes inside the ICF and brought the notion of a new violent subculture to the nation s conscience. SPECIAL FEATURES Report from the Social Issues Research Centre Tackling Football Violence.
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