Unboxed, our latest tee is the retelling of an old tale, Hooligans Against Acid.
In the mid to late 80's football hooliganism was at it's worst, across the country bored young men were looking for a release, after the much talked about casual movement was well into full swing, violence was at it's peak. Like a runaway train out of control, trouble was at an all time high. Stabbings, slashings, beatings in subways and on London's underground were all too common.
But, this runaway train had to stop, first there was the televised sporadic outburst at Luton in 1985 - a pivotal year, which saw Millwall's hordes invaded the Bedfordshire town, out of control, politicians even called for a return of the birch as a form of punishment!
At Leeds versus Birmingham another huge riot ensued, tragically one life was lost. This was overshadowed by a terrible tragedy at Bradford in the same year where 56 people lost their lives as a blazing inferno consumed the old main stand. Whilst that was not directly associated with hooliganism, the next awful tragedy was. It was going to see that runaway train come to it's collision.
The Heysel stadium tragedy again in 1985 during the European Cup final saw 39 people lose their lives in a stampede which saw a wall collapse, with hundreds injured aswell, the press, media and Thatcher had a field day denouncing their own as murderous thugs.
But there's two sides to every story, and a shambolic stadium unfit to host such a tie, poor policing and security were equally to blame for something that should never had happened. With an even worse disaster to follow also connected to Liverpool FC and English football but once again the authorities and not hooliganism, were the cause.
That runaway train had gone too far, the so called English disease was coming to a head, it had to.
The police, authorities and biased media couldn't contain hooliganism, try as they might there was always going to be activity across the land, but football violence was about to suffer an unlikely blow, a blow from a very unlikely source. Ecstasy.
Drugs had up until this point been largely off the radar of the match goers, this relatively new found high with Ecstasy [MDMA Methylenedioxymethamphetamine] was to many a welcome relief.
Police intelligence will even acknowledge that for a couple of seasons football violence had dropped off considerably due to the drug and rave scene. As lads were looking for something else, many ventured into all night raves, coach trips and all-nighters, acid house and this new found buzz replaced the buzz of sporadic football violence, significantly this was a peaceful buzz too, raves up and down the country even saw rival football fans meeting up and enjoying themselves together, this was known as the casual-rave crossover.
Friendships were formed, old foes were now new pals, hooliganism was at a low point. People were seeing each other at the few games they bothered with and not steaming into one another, more shaking hands and enjoying new found friendships.
There was always the hardcore, a hardcore who swerved the drug and rave scene and still yearned for the football days. This was evident on the England international scene, [and is evident still] in the more organised and unified mobs we'd seen and read so much about throughout the 90s.
Whilst musically and culturally, the rave scene was hugely important to Britain, it spawned many clubs, bands, albums and styles. People still wanted to see hooliganism return to what is was prior to house music.
It was alleged that a group of Chelsea supporters released a t-shirt bearing the slogan 'Hooligans Against Acid' in order to make a statement.
Twenty years later, most hooligans would ironically say they can enjoy both, they're not against acid. Whether you are or you aren't, it's tongue in cheek. The Casual Connoisseur pay homage to that era, and both 'scenes' with the release of this new tee.
Also available : ABBEY ROAD now finally available to buy.
in total contrast, we now have two colourways of this quirky hand sketched and translated to print effort from our comrade artists' Artyom Chernov and Mila Mijanovich of Moscow. Featuring a zany adaptation of the famous Beatles album cover, with Lennon, Borg, Hillary and Clockwork Orange and the casual scene all referenced.