Book Price £8.99
The Story of Manchester United's Southern Army
The Cockney Reds emerged from London and the home counties to follow the biggest football club in Britain and left chaos in their wake. Yet for decades they remained a mystery to friend and foe alike. Robert ‘Banana Bob’ Cleur was there from the beginning. Raised in South London, he rode with a violent biker gang before the soccer terraces took over his life. He saw United play in his teens, was captivated by the menace of their vast support, and joined their growing southern army. He eventually emerged as a leader, working as a bricklayer to fund his campaign around the country, backed by his ‘firm’ of brawlers and boozers.
The Cockneys turned Euston Station into a warzone, infiltrated famous ‘ends’ like Arsenal’s North Bank and the Shed at Chelsea, and stormed other grounds even when the Reds were not playing. Banana Bob was always in the thick of it, and saw the inside of jail cells in England, Spain and Holland. He was also one of two dozen hooligans finally arrested in an undercover operation to smash United’s mob, but walked free when the trial collapsed. The following decades were dominated by European travel and a series of misadventures in continental cities, as respectability eluded the wiser but still wild old-school heads. COCKNEY REDS is a candid account of a period of terrace history that will never be repeated, and of the close camaraderie of a hooligan gang based on enemy turf.