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Arsenal Herd and Gooners… then and now!

Arsenal has two separate Football hooligan firms, one named as ‘The Gooners’, this being a mutation of the club’s nickname, The Gunners and ‘The Herd’.

The Gooners were known as a violent football hooligan firm, who were mainly active within the 1980s. However nowadays the name is mainly used by the majority of Arsenal supporters (the non-hooligan sector) who consider themselves to be die hard Arsenal supporters.

Old photos from a day out taking in the beauty spots of Runcorn, North Allerton and Goodison!










The Herd, the other Arsenal firm, was mainly active between the late 1970s and early 1990s, although the Herd still exist today, they now prefer to stay undercover. The Herd back in the earlier days were known as a violent football hooligan firm that had the have the distinctive war-cry “E-I-E”.

Gooners at Highbury






The Herd had a few main rivals back in the day of football hooliganism and still in the present day, these are the Tottenham Hotspur’s ‘Yid Army’, West Ham’s ‘ICF‘, Chelsea’s ‘Headhunters’ and Millwall’s F-Troop (now known as the ‘Millwall Bushwackers‘). Although a large section of The Herd was considered to be a violent fighting firm, a small amount of the members were not physically violent. For example Dainton Connell (aka Denton ‘The Bear’ Connell) was considered to be a folk hero by large sections of the Arsenal fans, however he unfortunately died in a car crash back in 2007, it was approximated that around 3000 mourners showed up to the funeral.

The Bear





The Herd’s two most famous clashes were with Millwall fans at Highbury in 1988, in which 41 Millwall hooligans were arrested after fighting in the stands, and with Galatasaray fans in City Hall Square, Copenhagen in 2000. The fight with Galatasary ended up with Four fans being stabbed, 11 becoming injured, one with a serious head wound and 54 fans being arrested.

The Two Stories Behind the Meaning of E-I-E

It was apparently said by a Gooner when another teams “firm” was coming towards them. The Gooner, as the story goes, had a mouthful of pie or something at the time and he was trying to say “here they are” but it came out sounding like “E.I.E” instead.

The term E-I-E may also mean “Every Idiot Enjoys”, none of the stories have been confirmed as of yet.

The Gooners nowadays
Arsenal v Man City


  1. forgot to mention days of the 80s when the Adelaide P.H in Liverpool rd used be main staging place and how used kick off down Liverpool rd after the derby matches

  2. The Arsenal firm were known as the Gooners from 1980 til about 1985 when we renamed ourselves the Herd so they are the same firm with the same faces,lots of top boys in these photos,so you are very wrong in your write up.
    Dainton was one of the top boys but not the sole leader-when he was around he would lead with a few of others in these photos-Big bad Paul,SS ‘Cookie’ and **** from Mile end-they were all very handy and they are all in these photo’s-I won’t point them out but those who know,know.
    The war chant was EIE (the cue to steam in) sometimes followed by ‘She wore,she wore,she wore a yellow ribbon’.The Gooners were seriously underestimated in the early to mid 80’s because the fv at Highbury had died down from 1975-1980,before 1975 Arsenal and West ham were the top mobs in the country, but the Arsenal resurgence begun in 1980 and we had a regular 100-150 lads in the clockend who went home and away,we had some mad times them days,as well as the regular fighting a lot of us were also robbing anything and everything anywhere we got an opportunity from the west end to Luxumberg and Italy,smash and grabs from jewellers was a good un,Regent st,Watford high st and Blackstock road jewellers all had their displays caved in with car batteries and the contents liberated.Every item of clothing I wore in the 80s was nicked too-it all came free for me from up west!.Some of us went in to serious crime in the following years,then the rave scene came along and some of us got involved in that as well.
    In London West Ham,Millwall,Chelsea and Yids all underestimated us from 82-88 and they all got a slap,because we don’t write books don’t mean it didn’t happen,you will find plenty of honest boys from them firms who would admit to it,Mancs and scousers also knew we were a firm to be reckoned with,done them both plenty of times too.
    The Herd.

    • Arsenal very well respected in the 80s. Liverpool always had it with Arsenal more than any other London mob. Won some and lost some but always good do’s. Daintiness, Ba***ls, DM, R*s*i, Ginger etc all well respected lads.

    • Summed it up precisely, Mucca! In the late 70’s, the not then called, ‘The Yids’ were fkg giants compared to us little ‘tadpoles’. However, over a very short period of time, WEiE grew up and turned it back round. Without realising it, it was the beginnig of an early 70’s Arsenal ‘ave it’ rennaisance. And as 4 the photos? Personnaly I dodged em. Who is brave enough to ID the origins of the creation of the name ‘Yids?
      And even more coroagous? Recite the true origins of the collective noun, ‘GOONERS’? Who run and survived a 6 mile run to Old Street post Boxing Day? Who can honestly then witness the Yids T-shirts after? I hear some shit about all this name origin palaver and struggle to get my head around the real truth! Fk it, who cares? Cpt Wee Wrabb – was there – “BEST DAYS OF MY LIFE”

    • Old Post but bang on ! The author was adding things he had heard over the years I’m Leeds funnily the only real female football hooligan from 1980 – We will always remember you as the gooners and yes West Ham Millwall chelsea handy but arsenal would normally turn up at k Cross before the game and after. Re Denton know him well only found out few years ago what happened. I’ve waited 40 years with being female, kids, career to do a book but mine isn’t about Leeds it’s stories all of which I was involved in or organised not a spotter and run away girls I would be at the front of our firm now all the wannabees writing books claiming to be top boys etc have calmed down. I’ve only read a few books but if you were there you know never saw any girl at it so its from the 80s the Attire home and away the camaraderie the scams the taking the pi*s out of the old bill. I read hoolifan and in it all the Chelsea lads I knew Martin King rip was gonna do a foreward for my book but now I’ll put a section of him . Was invited to do Chelsea podcast. The best bit I was too smart for old bill never nicked no bans etc and the West Yorkshire old bill hated me. So the tales in my book are written by me not some poncey author with no idea about football. The highs and lows of relegation , promotion fa cup draw and if the team we played would turn out and stories like how you’ve said like with the 657, under Fives, ICF and I’m sure you know but most won’t admit it cass will not be remembered as a hooligan just a bloke who did good and wrote books we well I never rated him. I’d rather have my memories than a huge bank balance. Going off track no place for women in big Misters football as pundits when they’ve never played..I can as I’ve only Played in boys then mens teams so no what a sliding tackle shoulder charge Julian dicks style, or a hospital ball with psycho. My claim to fame is I put Frank Worthington on his arse in a game hosted by Denis law he said I’m Denis I said Denis who..haha Leeds and mancs don’t mix.if you see this message have a look on YouTube with Leon Knight podcast few years old but proper giving it great about female pundits and taking the pi** out of Alex Scott smashed it brov.. not got down to Emirates but fond memories of Highbury

  3. Being Tottenham, I came unstuck several times against the herd back in the 1980’s, I still recognise some of the faces in the pictures, they were game as you like back in the day, even bumped into several of them and renewed acquaintances again in a cup semi final at Old Trafford in 2001 !!!

  4. You are talking my youth. Was with docker that day man utd away when he came up with name gooners. He wanted goon squad but that got the big NO. Remember all the boys, including Denton. He still supported his secret tattoo back then, dont dare talk in public about it. But many times we rucked other firms He never followed the gooners at first, he had his own very handy crew, a bit of a loner at first about 18 then. Good to here still rocking

  5. A couple of the main firm Arsenal firm are in these pics .Yes well underated .Smashed the yids plenty of times mainly awsy from the grounf just like we done to modt firms up and down the country.I must say we had plenty of small firms mixed intoit and plenty of in fighting .
    I must say most of the top boys were not dtupid enough to have thier photos taken at every opportunity like in these pictures do you are wsy offmark and mussing 99 percent of them.

    • It was very rare that anyone brought a camera to a game back then,these are probably the only photo’s that exist from the glory years and the main faces are well represented here.

      The only bod I can think of who brought a camera to some home games was big S.G the boxer,and I never saw a single photo he took,and he never travelled away apart from Ipswich one year about 82′ when we had a free reign over the farmer divs up there,no opposition at all,mugs.

      If anyone is still in contact with S.G ask him to put all the photo’s up on the Herd site,would be good to see the ones he took of the riot down Seven sisters just before the Brixton & Toxteth riots broke out!,we were the leading fucking trendsetters and fashion icons of our day ; )

      There are only a handful of faces I can think of who were properly at it missing from these pics so I don’t really know what you are on about Pigs ears.

      The top mob was the Clockend,thats who everyone knows and remembers,not some divs in the north bank from the home counties,is that who you mean by saying 99% of the top boys are missing? cos the NB done fuck all anywhere when it mattered, not even at home,they couldnt even defend their own end when it was invaded and taken a number of times in the early 80s,they were a fucking embarrasment,shirter shit cunts who deserved a fuckin slap for being total cunts and football stat full kit wankers,we had no time for any cunt like that-which is why none of us go anymore-the place is chocka with Arsenal tv shirter arseholes.

      Things changed when us boys in the clockend decided to go in the north bank for the games when we expected the north bank to be taken by another firm,and when we did it went off big time and no cunt took that end when the Clockend was in there-you had the odd few north bank barmies & shirts have a go but on the whole they were all shit cunts and full kit divs.Was you one of them ?.

      The best times were when we were a small tight knit firm like in these photo’s,going away to Boro & Liverpool 80 handed for a night game and doing what we wanted,blades bottles anything went and hardly anyone used to get nicked for the bad tear ups cos they all took place away from ob,scousers & mancs getting run everywhere and pinged on their own turf,and getting it again when they come down here trying to sneak back into Euston through the back streets of Somers town,always an ambush waiting for them and they got terrorised,no ”won some lost some” about it,you got fucking mullered every time,great times.

      To the scouser on here,remember your top boy coming out of Highbury that night game after you got battered getting cornered on Highbury hill and taking one of ours hostage ?,held a blade to his throat but we just went into him and he run and turned the corner onto Drayton park and disappeared-looked for him for ages and could not work out where the cunt went,looked over garden walls,under cars,everywhere,still can’t work out where he went but he was one lucky cunt that night cos he would definitely have been dissected if we got hold of him,he would not have survived.

      Anyway fuck off you foreign cunts putting up this bollocks you know nothing about,delete it you absolute grade 1 cunt.

    • I had one photo taken in 40 years at Hampden Scotland v England 1985 I think didn’t know, it had been taken never got season tickets or away pass and you’d to sign up who you are etc no one knocking on my door the bloody pic appeared in a book without my permission almost 20 years later and hate to say what a poor attempt having to get an author and take to meet fa s cos you weren’t involved really and make out top boy it’s a Deffo not in a million years mate we’d been at it at Chelsea arsenal West Ham scum sciousers 5 years before you went to firt away game at Huddersfield 10 miles on the train.oh I’ve waited so long to say that..anyway like it or not we’ll always call you gooners see you soon

  6. Love reading memories from from genuine fans from around the country, honest fans who were actually there unlike the idiots who have commented on here. Arsenal had a huge firm in the late 60s and early 70s, i can remember a game at White Hart Lane in the early 70s when Arsenal had a mob in nearly every section of the ground. From 74-75 onwards they just disappeared, never worked out why as Arsenal still had a great team. First time going to Highbury was Peter Simpsons testimonial, was shocked how easily to get in The North Bank, we didn’t take it by any means but had around 1500 who got under the covered section and stayed there the whole game. After we went down then the first season back up, 78-79 we took a huge mob to Highbury and managed to take at least 3 quarters of The North Bank. The following 3 or 4 seasons we filled it, until the games were made all ticket. As for Gooners turning up at WHL i can honestly say i never saw a firm turn up, ever, between 76 and late 80s. As for the comment that the Gooners gave West Ham, Chelsea and Tottenham a slap, hilarious. Had to share with my ICF and Chelsea mates, they pissed themselves aswell. Tottenham had a huge firm in the 70s and 80s but there were certainly other huge firms aswell but The Gooners weren’t one of them.

    • Here you are again cunt,everywhere theres an Arsenal story up you pop like a turd that wont flush.You know how I can tell your a total div ? cos you reckon your a Yid and you got chelsea mates,you obviously aint from the manor cos no real yid would have chelsea mates and you aint ever been involved so fuck off with the bunny you soppy little cunt.Your all over youtube giving it then deleting your comments out of embarrassment not because you might incriminate yourself cos you aint ever done fuck all.Cos no cunt wanks off over your mob from the 80s cos it didnt exist must grate you which is why you spend so much time online talking bollocks.We came to yours 50 handed 4 years ago and embarrassed you,theres videos on youtube of it as proof and I know you seen it cos I see your bollocks written on the comments,Northumberland park your lot bottled.Now fuck off.

      • The gooners never went to the lane and batter anyone. Mid to late 70’s you had some numbers up for it around Highbury but you cant say you went to the lane and won. You may of won on the pitch but not on the terraces or outside. Spurs have always pretty naughty. not to say you didnt win in little pockets around finsbury park but deffo not near the lane. Also very doubtful you bashed west ham and chelsea as they were prob worse than spurs. as said you may of won couple of small duels with numbers near highbury but you couldnt paste those firms. respect to your numbers in the late 70’s though

        • How about when we hit the Bull in 83′ ?, Hawkins, Salmons & Richmond firm getting smashed all over the north bank the same day, fighting each other to get out ?, then run all the way back to Nam’ and smashed again-was you there, doubt it.Forget the 70’s-not my era and everyone looked a cunt in flares , perms and donkey jackets, no one putting any dough up for 70s fv films, I wonder why ?!.
          The 80s is when it mattered, the classic years, and your day had gone,we were on the up and you couldn’t touch us.
          Funny thing is when Wall came down in 88′, Salmons thought he’d get a bit of revenge, fronting up Wall on Blackstock road, and again he got absolutely battered !.
          What about your meet at Seven sisters in 81-82?,1000 of you mobbed up to take the north bank-we got wind of it through our ‘mutuals’ -you wouldnt know them cos your a cunt, 80 of us came to you before you landed and smashed your yid army, most didn’t make it to the match, you definitely didnt take the north bank that day.
          As for the other div on here-we didn’t run from Wall, Chelsea or West Ham in the 80s,we give it to them all, whats your story ?

          • Tottenham were very active in the 80’s, I know the names you mention very well but I dont remember your version of events! Arsenal had a good firm in the 80’s probably the best they have ever had, you had some game fellas, I wont name them, but apart from your visit to the bull and one year in the clock end thats as good as you got, on matchdays it depends who you come across, sure you might have had it with some of ours and had a result, but I have never heard any of our main boys or my Richmond boys ever being as you put it smashed.

    • Wanker you know f**k all you weren’t about with the yid firm otherwise you would know how from early 80’s to mid 90’s you did nothing, we loved playing you as we used to love walking down your High road untouched & giving it to you, also from around 82/83 you were scared to come into the Northbank once we got ourselves a good mob your bullying day’s were over and you couldn’t stand it & yes we did give it to all the other London firms in that time as for your Chelsea mates laughing well that’s bullshit because we done them on numerous occasions so they’re like you either in denial or you weren’t there just a keyboard warrior.
      P.S at least we know & admit it when we get done unlike you Billy Bullshit.

    • Brick Abat I forgot all the other user names you got on youtube but we all know you was never there or part of any yid firm when it mattered, no ghetto’s in fucking Hertford you soft cunt.
      I have respect for your proper old school and used to drink with some of them in the White hart opposite the old Bassetts sweet factory on white hart lane, good banter and never any grief,we avoided each other when it kicked off at a game or station and had a giggle about it after.

      We got idiots on youtube who like you were never there and are proper embarrassing-Hooligooner, eie herdsman etc-all the same person who logs in with other accounts to upvote himself and even fucking talks to himself, what a clown.All he does is repeat shit he’s read on other posts and sites and people entertain the cunt, a bit like you, knows fuck all and done even less.

      For anyone reading this wanting to know the real coup about the 80s Arsenal firm-the best era of fv and fashion, we called ourselves Gooners in 1981 after the yids started calling us Goons, forget what all the idiots say about it,or the EIE bit-it don’t mean anything, another one D’s inventions as out firms supposed leader, fuck off, we had 30+ much tastier than him but he liked to put himself about, call it a complex thing or whatever, Binnsy and co (the proper AFC firm left over from Hoys era) thought he was a cunt, quite rightly so.Every copper in England knew D as did every mob, what fun is that ?, he liked the attention too much and took the heat with his mob as we slipped under the radar.

      When they were 20-30 handed and getting run everywhere in Boro, Manchester or Merseyside us older lot used to watch from a distance or from our mini bus and laugh at them , we’d find our own battles away from them busy loud cunts and the ob and then slip away with no one none the wiser.
      As for Denton being our leader us lot never trusted or rated the ex yid, saw him on his arse that many times ,granted he did have some bottle but he’d swerve a straightener with anyone half tasty.He used to intimidate idiots with his size and mouth but it backfired on him many times, he was a bully simple as that,when he tried it on with top boys over West ham, Leeds, Mancs, Everton, Boro, Leicester and even Luton ffs! he got spanked, he got sparked by some little Leeds chap on the pavement on Avenell rd once in about 1980 cos the Leeds fella didn’t run, quite the opposite, he turned and run at Denton and I saw D’s face drop, before he got dropped-Leeds were laughing at him, calling him all sorts, I was embarrassed for the cunt. I picked him up and told him he was showing us up,the cunt nearly cried.

      From that moment I never trusted the attention seeking glory hunting div, we had our own mob who kept their distance from them attention seekers in fucking loud day glo tennis shirts and we travelled by mini bus and coaches rather than D’s and Millers inter city method of travel,they had it bang on top from day 1 with ob infiltrating and everyone getting nicked every other week.And they never sussed it, outsiders just turning up on there todd every week and no questions asked, bang obvious filth, try doing that over west ham or millwall and you will def get a tug and a broken jaw.

      • Fucking hilarious this. Im in my 60s & gotta justify what happened back then. I know what happened i was there . Lived around finsbury pk for some of it. Never been near hertford so your little dig means fuck all to me. Dont need to give different names on YT either.

        You think you know it all cos you used to drink with a few of our older lot. And I werent part of any yid firm when it mattered? Hahaha! Fuck me i’ve heard it all now. I mustve been dreaming. Was I involved? Yeah sorry if it gets to you i was. If you knew the score back then as you claim to youd know thwre was loads of little firms down tottenham back then. Yeah we knew the names of the main bods but didnt know em. Going liverpool 80 handed. Try 30. Everythig i put in yt is truth as i saw it If you dont like it too bad. i dont need to bullshit and i dont need to put all that bollox that we never got done. Unlike you who seems to b telling us that you done everyone. And youre telling me i werent involved when it mattered. Haha ok then. I bow to your greater knowledge.

    • Are you mad, Arsenal used to take massive mobs from the early 80s to Spurs, you couldn’t touch us on the high road after the games. I could go on and clue you up about our adventures with West Ham , Millwall and Chelsea, but as you wasn’t there you wouldn’t believe it …. I can tell from your comments your a tool.

      • Smashed it lad if you know you know the clown you’ve just shown up ain’t been in a proper firm we never had top boys at Leeds I the 80s no phones so it was word of mouth but if you recognised the faces next to you and no matter how many of usvtheyd stand against anyone in crew neck and samba or an Arnani t shirt and trimm trabb..misspent youth not ! Some younger ones may think never a female hooligan those that were there at the beginning circa 1980 may remember me if you got a smack it’s 40 odd years now so no grudges lol I’m 57 and still a casual/ dresser football hooligan will take the 5th if asked buy old bill

    • Correct, late 70’s – 80’s tottenham all over shitbury time and time again !

  7. How refreshing! Gotta go with it. Over 40 years later! Just thought it was me. “that’s about how I felt”

  8. Made my day finding this ..not the original peice.. Total bolloks but the comments are mint..only found out a few years back that Denton had passed away hed been talking about me haha hard to forget..Arsenal had a handy mob and would always turn up at K.Cross after the game aswell..If you are a young one you won’t remember me but we had some good rows in the 80s especially before the Old Bill had a clue..great night in 80s night match midweek, our tag -alongs got off at Arsenal tube we got off before..but after the game West Ham had turned up and were at the end of the street not usual for them..and never saw Arsenal in full length Tacchini or Ellesse trackies like the Yids looking stupid..angie Leeds united

  9. Regardless of those that come along. We’ve known you as The Gòoners proper from 1980. Never hears anyone calling them the herd till this year just laughed there’s gooners and just Arsenal fans, I’ve seen Denton go on his arse a few times. ( not guilty m’ lord. Arsenal v Leeds in early 80s. And you were only team that turned up at k.Cross before or after. You did have numbers but so did we but we both had a smaller group who slipped away from the hangers on. And 30 lads you know who won’t give an inch no matter if we’ll outnumbered than 200 to 300 who may disappear when it goes off.

  10. Bristol city away riot service station eat the evidence,clear the way or get it,smash there firm in there park
    Ipswich away climbed up the roof and p.ssed on them home fans .
    Nots Forest away in the trent they went 🙂

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