The Football Factory (film)

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The Football Factory
The Football Factory poster.JPG
Promotional poster
Directed by Nick Love
Produced by Allan Niblo
James Richardson
Written by Nick Love
John King (novel)
Starring Danny Dyer
Frank Harper
Tamer Hassan
Roland Manookian
Neil Maskell
Dudley Sutton
Music by Ivor Guest
Cinematography Damian Bromley
Edited by Stuart Gazzard
Distributed by Momentum Pictures
(United Kingdom)
Touchstone Pictures
(United States)
Release dates
14 May 2004 (2004-05-14)
Running time
91 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Box office £623,138

The Football Factory is a 2004 British film directed by Nick Love. The film stars Danny Dyer, Tamer Hassan, Frank Harper, Roland Manookian, Neil Maskell and Dudley Sutton. It is loosely based on the novel of the same name by John King and is the first foray into film making by video game producers Rockstar Games, credited as executive producers.

In 2004, Chelsea F.C. football supporters' fanzine cfcuk produced a special edition - "cfcuk - The Football Factory" to coincide with the release of the film.


Tommy Johnson (Dyer) is a member of a violent Chelsea hooligan firm. His friends and fellow hooligans include Tommy's best friend Rod King (Maskell), Billy Bright (Harper), and volatile younger members Zeberdee (Manookian) and Raf (MacNab). Tommy spends his days drinking, using drugs, womanising, and kicking people's heads in, much to the dismay of his grandfather Bill Farrell (Sutton), a pensioner and veteran who plans to leave England with his best friend Albert (Junkin).

Tommy begins to have second thoughts about his life path during a fight with the Tottenham hooligan firm. Tommy, Billy, and Rod are arrested for assaulting two Stoke City fans whilst travelling to an away match. These actions draw the ire of Harris, the leader of the Chelsea firm, whose attempts to keep order are thwarted by Billy's violent outbursts.

Rod begins a relationship with the court clerk at their arraignment and she pressures him to skip his weekend meets. Zeberdee and his friend Raff accidentally rob Billy's house and are forced to stand in his living room, whilst Billy's children throw darts at them. Billy deals with his increasing loneliness after he overhears Harris discussing his irrelevance. Bill's plan to retire to Australia is temporarily thwarted when Albert dies the night before they are to leave.

Early in the film, Tommy is caught by the brother of a girl he picked up at a club. He is saved when Rod hits the man on the head with a cricket bat. The girl's brother turns out to also be the brother of the rival Millwall firm's leader, Fred (Hassan), who then hunts Tommy down throughout the entire film. The film culminates in a pitched battle between the Chelsea and Millwall firms. Rod (after a few espressos and a line of cocaine), leaves a dinner with his girlfriend's parents after insulting them, and attends the "meet". Tommy is brutally beaten by Fred and a group of Millwall hooligans, and ends up in the hospital with Bill, who, in the meanwhile, has suffered a heart attack.

A recurring subplot concerns a racist taxi driver (Jamie Foreman), whom the characters encounter at various points in the film.

At the end of the film, Tommy decides that his place is at the firm with his friends, Bill moves to Australia and Billy Bright is incarcerated after being arrested at the Millwall meet (ironically, whilst saving Harris from being arrested). Zeberdee is killed by a drug dealer whom he had previously robbed, fulfilling a recurring dream that plagued Tommy throughout the film.


  • Danny Dyer — Tommy Johnson, a bored twenty nine year old, who lives for the weekend football matches. The thrill of the big Millwall versus Chelsea meet leaves his life scrambled as he tries to pull himself out of his nightmare.
  • Frank Harper — Billy Bright is a man around forty, part of the older generation of The Firm. He is full of bitterness, and blames the system in his country for the failures in his life. Away from the crowds, where he commands an audience to impress the younger guys, he's a sad and lonely character, whose life is increasingly spiralling out of control.
  • Neil Maskell — Rod, Tommy's oldest friend and confidant, ambling along the path led by his mates.
  • Roland Manookian — Zeberdee, younger breed coming through the ranks of Chelsea, his life has already run into a cul-de-sac of crime and drugs. With nothing to lose and no one to look out for him, Zeberdee aspires to be a future top boy; unfortunately his lack of intellectual guile gets him into trouble.
  • Calum McNab — Raff, Zeberdee's best friend.
  • Tamer Hassan — Millwall Fred, heads the rival Millwall hooligan firm, an arch enemy of Chelsea. Things come to a head when Tommy inadvertently crosses paths with Fred, and vengeance begins.
  • Dudley Sutton — Bill Farrell, a representative of the older generation from a bygone era, a D-Day veteran in his late seventies, who lives out the remainder of his days with childhood friend Albert Moss; they plan to retire in Australia.
  • John Junkin — Albert Moss.
  • Jamie Foreman — A racist taxi driver, who is never afraid of letting his customers know his true feelings about society.
  • Tony Denham — Harris, the Chelsea firm's head, who runs it like a military team.
  • Kara Tointon — Tameka, secondary female character.
  • Sophie Linfield — Tamara, secondary female character.
  • Danny Kelly — Radio announcer.

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