Inter City Firm
|Founding location||East London|
|Ethnicity||Predominantly White English|
|Criminal activities||Football hooliganism, riots, fighting|
The Inter City Firm (ICF) is an English football hooligan firm mainly active in the 1970s, 1980s and early 1990s, associated with West Ham United and widely regarded as the first properly organised hooligan firm. The name came from the use of InterCity trains used to travel to away games. The ICF was still active in 2009.
One figure associated with the ICF was Cass Pennant, who wrote on football hooliganism in the 1990s and 2000s. He is the subject of the film Cass, which was released on 1 August 2008. In Congratulations You Have Just Met the ICF, Pennant, a black Londoner, maintains that the ICF was not racist or right-wing.
The main character within the film Rise of the Footsoldier, Carlton Leach is also associated with the ICF. He, along with Pat Tate, Tony Tucker and Craig Rolfe, later started to get involved in the criminal underworld in London. They strayed away from the dangers of football fights, to focus on selling drugs and taxing dealers. Pat, Tony and Craig met a brutal end, when they were murdered in their Range Rover down a farm road in Rettendon, Essex.
In the foreword to Manchester United hooligan Colin Blaney's book 'Undesirables: The Inside Story of the Inter City Jibbers', Cass Pennant has stated that he is now friendly with members of various other firms, including Manchester United and Manchester City, suggesting that some of the rivalries of yesteryear have now died down.
The ICF pioneered calling cards that were left on victims. They read "Congratulations, you've just met the ICF." Leeds United Service Crew copied this from the ICF. This became, "Congratulations you've just met the famous ICF," when the ICF were the subject of a Thames Television documentary, Hooligan, which featured ICF members including Cass Pennant.
In popular culture
The ICF were the basis of Alan Clarke's 1988 film, The Firm. Gary Oldman plays Bex Bissell, the leader of the ICC - Inter City Crew. Members of the ICF were used as consultants on the film. The 2005 film Green Street was based on the ICF, but not by name. Instead, the initials GSE (Green Street Elite) were used. The ICF make an appearance in Irvine Welsh's novellas Ecstasy: Three Tales of Chemical Romance. The ICF are also suggested in the 2009 film Green Street 2: Stand Your Ground.
- Haley, A.J. (2001). "British Soccer Superhooligans, Emergence and Establishment: 1982-2000". The Sport Journal: (United States Sports Academy) 4. Archived from the original on 2007-06-15. Retrieved 2007-08-08.
- "How veteran hooligans used the internet to set up bloody battle". www.dailymail.co.uk. 27 August 2009. Retrieved 16 September 2011.
- "Cass Pennant Author & Hooliologist". casspennant.com. Retrieved 2008-06-20.
- "Cass". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 2008-06-20.
- Blaney, Colin (2014). Undesirables. John Blake. pp. x. ISBN 978-1782198970.
- "Violence at West Ham is proof that hooliganism has never gone away". www.timesonline.co.uk. Retrieved 2011-02-02.
- Pennant, Cass (18 August 2003). Congratulations You Have Just Met the ICF. Blake Publishing. ISBN 978-1-904034-85-8.
- Gardner, Bill; Pennant, Cass (25 August 2006). Good Afternoon, Gentlemen, the Name's Bill Gardner. John Blake Publishing Ltd. ISBN 978-1-84454-261-1.