Football Casual : It started in the North?

british subculture, Casuals, Football Casual, Football Casuals, Hooliganism, hooligans, industrial clothing, Subculture, thatchers britain, working-class, Youth Culture -

Football Casual : It started in the North?

Northern football casuals, the originals? The age old debate rages on. What region of England does the terrace casual movement owe its beginnings to?  It'll probably never be proven and definitely never agreed on. And whilst our Southern counterparts were perhaps the first to be noticed and marked with the medias Casuals moniker, fellow Northerners who were there from the get go claim it all started back in '79.... up North of course!

Regardless of the scene's beginnings, one thing that was guaranteed from region to region and certainly in the the pre-internet years, was the difference in styles and trends. Casuals we'rent just competing for who had the best mob of fighters but also who had the best Saturday dressers in an ever changing battle of oneupmanship, where an explosive combination of violence and sharp dressing came hand in hand with the movement. This has been almost lost in these high tech modern times of social media, which is a little sad really.

From a stereotypical standpoint, Northerners where famous for a rugged outdoorsy style that went hand in hand with the bleak weather and grim industrial backdrop. Think Peter Storm cagoules, Berghaus and izod windbreakers. Whereas the hooligan mobs from the South were famed for a more flashy dressed-up style with more brands on show. People who were there in the beginning will argue this until the end of time, mind. And you even hear claims, that have even been printed in many of the hooligan novels of the 90's and early noughties, that some Northern football firms were still rocking up to the match in donkey jackets and bovver boots at the height of the football casual movement. Of course this may not be totally untrue, the world wasn't as interconnected in those days, in fact far from it. So smaller town teams could well be years behind in subculture terms. But this would have no doubt also stood true for other Southern football fans from outside of London. 

On forums of old, numerous documentaries and probably on various social media platforms such as Facebook & Twitter, the debate will continue. Obviously for us, we're in the North camp for this one and to celebrate our claimed victory we even once printed it on one of our popular football casual t-shirts.

It's a real shame that the modern day has put an end to this era of football fan weekend oneupmanship. And often no matter where you go, not just in this country but also now in most parts of western Europe, you'll see the same brands and styles on and around the football terraces. Obviously it's much tougher to be different and stand out from the crowd these days,  especially when what was once the rarest of Stone Island jackets or Adidas Original deadstock are often just a Google search and a PayPal transaction away from being hand delivered at your doorstep. This is why it's important that independent brands such as ourselves pave the way for new trends whilst not forgetting and still paying homage to the scene's origins. 

Where you an original casual? We'd love to hear which camp you sit in. 

North or South? 

 Football casuals it started in the north Men's t-shirt   Football casuals it started in the north Men's t-shirt

Football casuals it started in the north Men's t-shirt

Northern Football Casuals perry boys

Northern Football Casuals perry boys

Northern Football Casuals perry boys

Northern Football Casuals perry boys



Thanks to Bobby Gallagher and Nic Dunnaway for featuring in the digital image above. 



  • Angie

    PayPal kids can get anything online some don’t bother with the footall just like the casual clothing
    Wearing a Stone Island Top does not make you a ‘Casual’ Fact

  • Angie

    A female..Doing podcast on ukcasuals on YouTube soon, not a silly girl trying to impress the lads by hanging around train stations in a Burberry. Same Burberry every week, my book had to be put on hold as Authr of Hoolifan Martin King passed he was going to do the foreward then A man utd clown who would be in the book was gunned down so had to amend for family’s sake. So depending on your age you may have heard or met me. I would say after being going to football home and a away I became one of the original dressers / casuals in 1980 and continue today. Waited 40 years and now all the clown wannabees who wrote books or got someone to write a book how poor is that you claim to be Top Boy and even their own firm haven’t heard of them. Well firstly it did start up North, followed by southerners and cockneys. Aberdeen were a few years behind English main firms followed by hibs and hearts then it took a while for other Scottish teams took a while to catch up, so forget Rangers ICF fairy story. So believe it or not the waiting 40 years wa also due to I was female, ended having 2 kids and my career which I had to be careful ( not Old Bill )
    So in 1980 as a 16 year old and till today this story is unique as there can not be another, so I’m officially the Only Official Female Football Hooligan / Casual.
    Through I did my best before cctv, hoolivans came around I avoided cameras even by mates a few slipped through that I wasn’t aware of, so in1980 it was for me Adidas Samba, Lee faded jeans, Lacoste. A lot of mates were scousers / scallies would bring me back trainers as only take size 4 and clothes from trips to Rotterdam , Germany etc i had 5 shops in 1980 Hurleys in Manchester, Stuarts in Shepherds Bush, Harrods, Burberry shop etc, so I was in a Peter storm kagoule but my mates in my firm wore Patrick kagoules, I would collect clothes then we told the lads who didn’t know the shops. I wasn’t a spotter or holding stuff like the daft woman in the Casuals documentary on youtube and i know Pete hooten very well and the kappa jumper despairing had a little run mid 80s lots of brands have recirculated over the years some never should be seen again. By 82 I went down Tacchini trackie tops, t shirts etc then onto Burberry, Aquascutum, Ralph Lauren YSL, levi 501s etc I was at the forefront of all the rucks, the scams taking the p out of the old Bill the camaraderie and 4 decades later those lads are still my best mates we had and still have each others backs no bans, no arrests, for me we were way too smart for the Old Bill. Home and Away games other firms, some we became mates with due to the rave scene and England games. Follow on Instagram @onlyofficialfemalehooligan. Sadly I had 700 followers and we reminisced but got hacked now only 100 but good banter.
    My wardrobe is still full of all that gear I’ve re bought. Anyway as comments are welcome you can’t help when you were born or Scottish firms as we didnt really meet the Scots. Before you comet remember other may have heard ‘Angie’ think on as a response from me may make you look dim if you claim it’s not true. Just to conclude I have 50 odd years knowledge of playing, watching football.c

  • AdeBloke

    Hi there,

    First of all I’d like to say what a great piece. As you say the debate rages on to where the ‘scene’ started, mostly now by us old geezers in our mid 50’s!

    Of course, the reality is that it doesn’t matter where it it began, but more that we were part of a movement that truthfully went fairly ignored by the mainstream, which was kind of the point! The cliche being that most teams ‘hoolies’ (and I’d say most teams) were scarfers or wore bovver boots and had skinheads.

    I have two opinions I’d like to portray here. One, being an ‘inner London dweller’ for most of my life, certain clothes were always freely available, and by this I mean mostly Italian designer wear or or similar. I could literally walk a few yards from where I grew up and purchase Italian, or bespoke clobber and I know that a few others could also do this. I definately grew with chaps who went to games ‘dressed up’ at the end of 70’s, if not earlier. I’m not knocking places like Burnley, Leeds, etc, but I’d imagine that this wouldn’t have possible in those towns simply due to migration to these towns was different in those days (please correct me if I’m wrong here!).

    I’m really sorry, but I serioulsy challenge the much cliched idea that it all began with Scallies running around Europe due to Liverpool doing well in Euro cups in the late 70’s/early 80’s. There were definately shops around Soho that sold the gear they porport to have beeen the first importers of from robbing gaffs in Turin, Rome etc!

    Secondly, I also spent a few years in Aberdeen during their ‘glory years’ under Ferguson, and grew up around a few of the ASC (Aberdeen Soccer Casuals), who at that time were enjoying a real boom time due to the oil flooding in from the North Sea. I witnessed at first hand, the trend for ‘shopping’ at Burberry on Union Street, and then taking a few chaps on a little trip down to London to ‘visit’ Jaegar, Burberry, etc on Regent Street, turning up at school the following week clad in hundreds of pounds worth of gear!

    From my point of view, these where amazing times in football culture, and to be honest, sorely missed. I was never interested in having a rumble to be honest, I just went up and down the country showing of my new clobber. The ‘Casual Culture’ and those days are now sadly gone, and I miss them deeply. To enter a new ‘manor’ and show of your gear and have some banter with the locals was a truly enthralling experience, something which is now dead and buried.

    I wish also ‘casuals’, from wherever you are or have been, good luck and I know that I’ll recognise you if I’m in your manor (in a nice way, that is :))

    Fila, Diadora, Tachinni, Farah, Adidas, Burberry,…..happy days

  • angie

    It started up North..1980 Scallies, scousers originally in crew necks, samba, faded Lee jeans and Peter storm kagoules, were quickly replaced with teaching ,lacoste, trimm trabb mainly thanks to away games in Holland, southerners close behind with full teaching tracksuits, fila, lois jeans an Nike trainers as basic as red or blue swoosh, we had a choice of a few places to get clothes, Hurley sports Manchester, harrows and a little shop down Sheperds Bush way, London The Burberry Shop London and Liverpool Market for the Lee was no easy task to get good gear or trainers. This was back in 1980 on by 1982 most me included it was Burberry, Aquascutum, Lacoste, YSL..Ralph Lauren and by 1984 Levi 501s .it mattered not what the lad stood next to you wore, if you knew he was game..Aberdeen though they will always disagree where about 3 to 4 years behind English Lads..Buying a Stone Island is not a badge of honour that had to be earned and it was picked if you got into the Casual Scene later and anyone can buy any gear anywhere with out leaving the house. So we have Casuals or Football Casuals

  • Dan hill

    Defo European sports gear first worn by the north in late 70s and early 80s as no southern teams travelled to Europe

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