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Meet the firms in England: 657 crew – Portsmouth FC

We keep with our rubric called “Meet the firms in England”. All articles from this interesting category can be found HERE.

A documentary of the Police and their battle to contain the antics of Portsmouth’s 657 crew . For a small city Pompey’s best lads punched well above their weight and gained national notoriety for their antics, particularly away from Fratton Park. A natural progression from the Pompey Boot Boys of the 1960’s this tasty little firm came from Portsea Island. Being the most densley populated City in the UK the boys had a great degree of loyalty to each other as they were mainly close mates.

IT has to be understood that Firms in the 1980’s were a progression from the original skinhead crews of the 1960’s and they represent British culture of those eras. It was about fashion, music, camaraderie, turning your nose up to authority. It was about the emancipation of English youth. In the 1960’s hooligans of the skinhead era were aged 13-19. By the 1980’s most were in the age range of 16-25…still very young by today’s standards.

Most of these guys were not career criminals, it was about pride and defending your manor. Such was the bad feeling between Millwall and Pompey during this era that Pompey were banned from Cold Blow Lane and Millwall banned from

Fratton Park after years of bad riots.

Interesting how the Police Superintendent at that time introduced plain clothes spotters at away games to prevent the crew invading opponents home ends. The use of CCTV and proactive policing eventually curtailed the activities of English firms, although even today there are odd incidents.

What is shocking in this video is the way Everton fans were treated in the game highlighted in this video. The complete unpragmatic stance taken by Police against 100 Everton fans who travelled without tickets. Here you will see jobsworths in action with their triumphalist attitudes against some decent Everton Lads. Pompey became the only club in England where you couldn’t pay cash at the turnstiles. The Police made every game all ticket resulting in Pompey losing 4-5000 from each home game. This was to cause a severe cash crisis that undermined our legendary managers(Alan Ball) efforts to stay in the top division.

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Linked with English Premier League team Portsmouth F.C., and named after the 6.57am train they would take to London’s Waterloo Station on a Saturday, the 6.57 Crew were one of the major firms during the 1980s, causing mayhem across the country. Spoiling for fights has remained high on the agenda for this squad of south coast louts. In 2001, they fought with Coventry City fans at an away game, ripping up seats and throwing missiles at their rivals. In 2004, 93 were arrested – including a 10-year-old boy who became the UK’s youngest-ever convicted football hooligan – for their part in mass riots before and after a match against rivals Southampton, where police were attacked and shops looted. Over one hundred Portsmouth hooligans were banned from traveling to the 2006 World Cup in Germany because of convictions for football-related crime. Firm but far from friendly.


Documentary on 657 crew and hooliganism – Portsmouth FC

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