I did say I wasnt going to do any reviews on the books on this site and Im not going to go into great detail about this particular one but if I tell you I read it from cover to cover in two days while on holiday youll get the idea that it was a cracking read !!
As the title suggests it covers Sheffield Uniteds football hooligan firm the Blades Business Crew (BBC) and is written by one of the main men during the time they were most active, unlike a few of these types of books you can tell this guy definitely knew what was what and had obviously been there.
Apparently the BBC actually had a bit of a celebrity amongst their midst at some point as well, rumour has it that former Housemartins and Beautiful South front man Paul Heaton was part of the group !!
Blades Business Crew
For 20 years, Steve Cowens kept a diary of the violent exploits of The Blades Business Crew – one of the country’s most active hooligan gangs. As leader of the BBC – he visited 91 of the 92 football league grounds – and fought at most of them.
In this explosive book, Cowens reveals the links between different hooligan groups around the country, how they communicate and how they organise. He details the confrontations with many of the leading gangs of the 1980s and 1990s, from West Ham and Chelsea to Birmingham, Leeds, Cardiff, Liverpool and Manchester. And for the first time, he describes many of the lesser known but equally active gangs at some of England’s smaller clubs.
He also tells how Sheffield is a city fiercely divided along football lines and relates the story of the city’s bouncer wars’ that left many jailed and permanently injured.
I havent actually read this one but now I know theres a second one out Ill give it a go, problem is its hard to see what more can go into the book as the first seemed to be a pretty comprehensive round up of the firms activities, hopefully Im wrong though and Ill update the site accordingly.
Blades Business Crew 2
With the help of other members of the Crew, Steve recounts stories of turbulent times on the terraces, from the 1960s right through to the present day. He explores how the scene of football violence started at Sheffield United and what it was like to be part of the early years and tells hair-raising stories such as the time acid was thrown at the fans on United’s Kop; he speaks of the battles with Hull, Leeds, Cardiff, Spurs, Bristol City, Feyenoord and others – plus, of course, the never-ending war with neighbours Sheffield Wednesday.
But this book is not just about the adventures (and misadventures) of the crew. The author offers an insight into the lows as well as the highs of being at the heart of the action. As well as the camaraderie, the battles of wits with the police and the exhilarating toe-to-toe battles with the opposition, the author also examines the flip-side of the firms such as the growing use of weapons in hooligan gangs and the tragedy that unfolded at Heysel.
This informative account leaves no stone unturned – some of it may shock you but it is certainly not short on excitement. As Steve himself says: ‘Football violence is not big and it’s not clever. It’s not worth getting into nowadays but you can bet your arse I loved every minute of it and if I could love it all again, I would – with bells on.’
The first edition of Blades Business Crew can be picked up fairly cheaply on Ebay and Amazon but the second one is still a bit more expensive, if its as good as the first though it will be well worth it.
As well as Ebay and Amazon we do occasionaly have copies of these, as well as loads of other football hooligan books, for sale on our own Footybooks site here.