Ringleaders of football hooligan groups the Gremlins (Newcastle) and Seaburn Casuals (Sunderland) are now in prison (Football Gang Leaders Jailed) following a street battle at the North Shields ferry landing in March 2000. (See also "Fight like Scene from Braveheart")
Those involved continue to demonstrate far right sympathies – Casuals members were reported in local newspaper Evening Chronicle as having carved the initials UVF (Ulster Volunteer Force) into pool tables in the North Shields pub where they had gathered before their battle with the Gremlins (Thugs ‘are free to go to football matches’- Calls that led to bloodbath – Casuals v. Gremlins- Evening Chronicle).
Football Hooliganism Increasing
Hooliganism has been reported to be increasing despite heavy policing of football grounds. Hooligan use of the mobile phone has resulted in organised street fighting shifting location away from areas of police supervision. Guardian
Footbal Hooligans and the Far Right
The far right continues to join forces with these groups. National Front and C18 members were spotted in Oldham as part of the violent and racist mix during the troubles in May 2001. Football hooligans "The Fine Young Casuals" from Oldham itself and then supporters from Stoke were drawn to these events and played a major part. Oldham
Football hooligans and the far right have a long history of association. Their attraction to street violence makes hooligan and nazi groups a shared field for recruitment to either.
During the 1980′s TWAFA was successful in preventing National Front paper sales to Newcastle United football supporters at St James Park. Eventually the fascists gave up their sales pitch. Pictured here is Wallace Wears, now dead, a regular paper seller for the National Front News.
Show Racism the Red Card: SRTRC is a local group that grew out of the early days of antifascist activity at St. James’ Park. Show Racism The Red Card
The emphasis changed during the 1990′s with the emergence of Combat 18 who recruited a small group of Wallsend fans.
Combat 18 is openly nazi (the numbers 1 and 8 refer to the initials of Adolf Hitler) with members committed to murderous action against blacks, Jews, lesbians and gays, and other minorities. C18 had strong links to the Chelsea Headhunters "to the point where the political group was widely seen as a Chelsea ‘firm’…" Headhunters Unmasked
During the mid to late 90′s C18 was also linked to the Northern Ireland terrorist far right with strong loyalist support in Sunderland shown by local Seaburn Casuals hooligans. Nazi Bands Beat Loyalist Drum
The photograph shows Wallsend recruits at Lansdowne Road football ground in Dublin at the England v. Ireland friendly abandoned because of English crowd violence. For a Dublin perspective see Anti-Fascism Ireland.