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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.

  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

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