Reviews - What do customers think about Scally: The Shocking Confessions of a Category C Football Hooligan?
Real men don't use blades Dec 20, 2007
It's a decent enough read, but what bugged me in comparison to true classics like Hoolifan, Congratulations You Have Just Met The ICF and Good Evening Gentlemen, The Name's Bill Gardner is that this author's mob was famous for blade use and he talks endlessly about cutting and slashing other unarmed fighters. Even better, when on ocasion another firm would retaliate and cut back, his firm would go mental and act as if that was the worst crime on earth. Hey scally, at least go toe-to-toe, bro, fist to fist. Gardner didn't use knives. Anything less and you have NOTHING to brag about. You relied on blades against people without them, that's weak and not worthy of a story, end of chat, no back answers.
'Tangled up in Blue' Nov 22, 2007
This book is a grim and gripping insight into the mad world of football hooligans in the UK from the 1970's to pretty much the present day. Andy Nicholls is an Everton fan and proudly unveils his tales of back-street battles, tube-station tear-ups and stadium set-to's with wit and a sense of self-deprication and honesty you don't always see in this genre. Dreadful films like `Green Street' have muddied the water a bit, but this is a far grimmer reality. People really get hurt when these `firms' tussle, and `Scally' doesn't flinch from describing in detail, the horrific injuries inflicted AND sustained in what must be the ultimate male pursuit. It's not brilliantly written, but you don't expect Wyndham Lewis when you read a book about blokes hitting each other as a leisure activity, and Nicholls is no PHD, but when it comes to giving a vivid and graphic picture of a dark, crimson-tinted world, it does the job. Despite much investigation and psycho-analysis, the authorities can't seem to get their heads round the fact, that these guys do this for sheer excitement and fun. And although it's much rarer than it once was, as Gordon Browns nanny state bites harder and harder into people's civil liberties, it's never going away completely. Jail sentences and banning orders are a good deterrent, but pale into insignificance when pitted against pride in yourself and where you come from, the bonding with your friends, and the sense of belonging, trust and respect you get from being part of a football clubs `minority'. Andy Nicholls tells it like it is. End of.
This is a great read ...... Sep 23, 2007
I want to start off by saying that I was not in or around English football grounds during the 70s, 80s, and early 90s and am not an English citizen. Having said that, I am fascinated by soccer hooliganism and have read many books/accounts of the violence occuring every weekend throughout England. This autobiography is the only one that I have read that actually admits to being "run" once in a while and not "winning" every encounter. Andy Nicholls tells a good story with a fair amount of humor, despite the seriousness of the subject.
The accounts of knifings and stabbings are difficult to read, but they did happen and Nicholls pulls no punches when describing them, although he never admits to taking apart in any of them, which is wise. I enjoyed the fact that the author refused to use any second-hand accounts of battles between firms, which many other 'hooliganologists' use all too often to put their books together.
I had to take a star away because of the editing, which is atrocious. It seems as if every single page has at least one or two errors. I'm talking about using 'there' instead of 'their', run-on sentences, etc. Normally I can look past mistakes like these, but there are so many that it really becomes distracting. That is the only real negative worth mentioning.
All in all, this is a very entertaining account of soccer hooliganism and above many of the others of this genre (I have read many). Just keep in mind that this autobiography is not for the faint of heart and there are some truly disturbing stories within its pages.
In The Beginning... Feb 21, 2004
1979 to 1981 was the Golden Age of "boys", when the youth of Liverpool and Manchester entered a volatile confluence of ideologies and power-plays, which were acted out outside the football stadiums and train stations of those cities. The rest of England festered in ignorance, while an exhilarating new way of life emerged, which, in time, was to affect all of Britain. Andy Nicholls does us all a great service by providing a story from the perspective of what many considered to be the "top boys" - Everton. That a scouser claims the credit for his city as the founders of this movement is no surprise - and pretty much ninety-percent correct. The "mickeys" were almost single-handedly responsible for the backbone of the "boys" movement. Liverpool's following of their team across the continent (the A + B = C equation, which is a brilliant stroke by Nicholls) was definitely a major, major moment in English style. However, the 1979 release of the Who movie, "Quadrophenia" was also a factor. As the scousers moved across Europe with their label-oriented, "jibbing" mindset, the lads of Manchester went to work on basic style and well-constructed clothing, a la lambs-wool and cotton trousers, Kicker's boots, cotton designer shirts, Fred Perry's and boat shoes. The transition from mods to "boys" took about three weeks in 1979, in Manchester (as opposed to ten years elsewhere) though the numbers were then a fraction of what they were in Liverpool. While Merseyside robbed continental sport-shops, Manchester "ragged" places like Kendals, Austin Reed's, Top Man and Debenhams of their sporty but sensibly assembled fashion gear (and this was when you got a quality shirt from Top Man that would last a lifetime and still look new). We had the colour of the tracksuit as well as the taste of tweed and kashmir. What resulted was an interdependent and rewarding overlap by both sides, and an unforgettable series of clashes from '79-'81, during which many ego-casualties were suffered on both sides. I will never forget the times I went to Liverpool and the times they came to Manchester, and the excitement we all experienced during this era. Everton and Man United set a standard during this moment in history, and Andy Nicholls is the closest you'll get to living it if you weren't there. His accounts of of it all represent living history, of a trend that has outlived ALL others. I only wish he would have dwelled on that Golden Age ('79-'81) throughout the entirety of his splendid book. I imagine a lot of cockneys and others would love nowt more than to be taken on a magical mystery trip through those times, as many of them only know of the latter-day smaller crews of disturbed individuals going at it, rather than 400-plus crews of lads who just wanted a thrill at any cost, and who understood that what they were into was of their own invention. Let's not forget the birds, either. They wore their own stuff, and just seemed to know what would compliment what the lads were wearing. Andy Nicholls says the drawn-out debates, about who started what and why, are boring, but there are many who would disagree, especially in the Northwest of England. I am a Manc and proud of it, but I tip my deerstalker hat to Andy, because I remember how the Everton boys performed in that great era, which means so much to so many...