Book Price £6.99
Birmingham’s Zulu Army occupy a unique place in the annals of terrace violence: Britain’s biggest multi-racial football firm. Yet it could have been so different. Birmingham was a club split by racial discord in the 1970s, until a shadowy hooligan group called the Apex on the St Andrew’s terraces united black and white against a backdrop of 2-Tone ska and the emerging casual fashion. Taking its name from a chant first heard at Manchester City in 1982, the gang soon expanded to become hundreds strong and became both feared for its ferocity and admired and emulated for its style.
BBC Journalist Caroline Gall gained unprecedented access to the gang and spent a year interviewing Zulu leaders and their associates. She examines how they became one of the top five mobs in the country, uncovers their role in some of the worst football-related riots of modern times, reveals how they diverged into two separate firms of hooligans and criminals, and looks in-depth at Operation Red card, the successful West Midlands Police probe into their activities.
Gall also traces their involvement in the rave scene, the emergence of offshoot gangs such as the Brew Crew and the Junior Business Boys, and chronicles some of their major confrontations of recent years, with the likes of Stoke City, Millwall, Cardiff, Hull, Portsmouth, Liverpool and Wolves, culminating in the infamous Battle of Rocky Lane against Aston Villa in 2002.
About the author:
Caroline Gall is a journalist for BBC online and has written for numerous newspapers and magazines. She is the author of Service Crew: The Inside Story of Leeds United’s Hooligan Gangs (Milo Books, 2009).