Does Liverpool Have A Firm? (Revealed)

Football fans in stadium

Despite being one of the biggest clubs in the world, there are still a few questions people don’t know the answer to when it comes to Liverpool.

One of which is does Liverpool have a Firm?

After all, this is a club whose fans have travelled extensively around Europe due to their continued success.

And often it has been the football that has done the talking.

So let’s take a closer look…

Does Liverpool Have A Firm?

The main hooligan firm associated with Liverpool FC is The Urchins. A group that was usually found on the Kop and began to establish itself in the 1970s as hooliganism reared its ugly head. Other Liverpool firms have included the Annie Road End Crew and the Runcorn Riot Squad.

Two men wearing retro football inspired t shirts with text in between them

The Urchins

The name of the main firm associated with Liverpool is The Urchins.

Like many others, The Urchins emerged as a firm in the 1970s.

This was around the time hooliganism began to get a grip on the game, with hooligan elements associating themselves with clubs across the land.

The group was often seen standing in the Kop adjacent to the Centenary Stand.

Whilst never on the level of some of the biggest hooligan firms in the country, The Urchins seemed to have faded from prominence gradually over the past decade.

They do still feature occasionally in the mainstream media however.

For instance this Liverpool Echo news story from 2015 details how two Liverpool hooligans who were both members of the Urchins were hit with football banning orders after starting a fight with Manchester City fans.

In April 2020, the Liverpool Echo carried another news story about Kevin Parle, who had been on the run for 15 years after being arrested in connection with two murders in 2004.

He absconded whilst released on bail and was known to be a member of The Urchins.

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The Anfield Road End Crew

The Anfield Road End, or Annie Road End Crew, were another Liverpool firm named after the stand where they could be found during games.

The Annie Road End crew were known for ‘welcoming’ the ‘Soccer Special’ trains at Liverpool Lime Street Station on match day before escorting them in their own unique way to Anfield.

In essence, this crew saw a number of smaller mobs such as the Breck Road Firm and the Huyton Baddies united.

Nicky Alt was a member of the gang and recalled his time in the Annie Road End Crew in the book The Boys From Merseyside.

He was also featured in a Liverpool Echo article to promote the book in 2004.

Runcorn Riot Squad

Also listed as a Liverpool Firm is the Runcorn Riot Squad.

Very little is known about them, aside from the fact they have links with Runcorn which is located in the southeast of the Liverpool City Region around 11 miles from Liverpool city centre.

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Five of the Most Notorious Firms…

Liverpool has certainly never had an association with a hooligan element in the same way many other clubs have.

Some of the most feared Firms over the years include:

The Millwall Bushwhackers

The most feared firm of the most feared team in England!

The Bushwhackers have been involved in numerous incidents over the years.

  • 1988: 41 Millwall fans arrested after clashing with Arsenal fans.
  • 1993: Millwall’s play-off semi-final against Derby County had to be stopped twice due to pitch invasions by Millwall supporters and fighting in the stands.
  • 2002: Around 100 police officers were injured after being attacked following Millwall’s exit in the semi-final of the League One playoffs. Veteran police officer Russell Lamb called this the worst violence he had ever experienced.

The Birmingham Zulu Warriors

Taking their name from a chant of Zulu, Zulu aimed at them by Manchester City fans, the Zulu Warriors’ multicultural following marked them out from many of the primarily white hooligan firms of the time.

They too were involved in numerous incidents. Thirty-six members of the group were arrested in 1987 as part of an undercover sting. They were found to be in possession of knives and coshes.

In 2006 14 hooligans received banning orders as a result of violence in North London two years earlier and in 2007 five Birmingham hooligans were jailed for eight months for their part in violence in a game against Cardiff that resulted in a steward losing sight in one of his eyes.

Oh and the incident mentioned in the Millwall Bushwhackers entry, that police officer Russell Lamb called the worst violence he had ever experienced?

That was a game against Birmingham.

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The Inter City Firm – West Ham United

The Inter City Firm was named after the trains they would travel on to away matches. 

They became known for the calling cards they would leave on the bodies of those they attacked that proclaimed “Congratulations, you’ve just met the ICF”.

The ICF was led for many years by Jamaican-born Cass Pennant, who received a four-year sentence in prison in 1980 for football hooliganism.

They were the subject of a 1985 TV documentary ‘Hooligan’, and were the basis of the 1988 film ‘The Firm’ and the 2005 film ‘Green Street’.

The Chelsea Headhunters

The Headhunters were another notorious firm that was the inspiration for a film. Nick Love’s The Football Factory was a fictionalised account of the Headhunters’ exploits.

Kevin Whitton, who was a high-profile member of the firm, was sentenced to life in prison in 1985 for a bloody attack in a pub. His sentence was later cut to three years on appeal.

More recently the group was linked to disturbances in Paris before a Champions League Quarter Final with Paris Saint-Germain in 2014. Around 300 hooligans were involved in total.

6.57 Crew – Portsmouth

This Portsmouth hooligan firm was one of the most active firms of the 1980s.

They were named after the time the Portsmouth to London Waterloo train left Portsmouth and Southsea station.

In 2004 they were involved in a clash with fans of South Coast rivals Southampton, which saw 93 people arrested. 

In 2007 a Home Office report showed that Portsmouth had more banning orders in place against ‘risk supporters’ than any other team in the Premier League at the time. There were 95 in total.

Final Thoughts

Does Liverpool Have a Firm infographic

The main firm associated with Liverpool is The Urchins. Like many other hooligan firms at the time, they rose to prominence in the 1970s.

Today the firm has largely faded away, although they are still mentioned in dispatches from time to time.

Other Liverpool firms in the past have included the Annie Road End Crew and the Runcorn Riot Squad.

Thankfully hooliganism does not blight the game anywhere nearly as seriously as it did in the 1970s and 1980s, and hopefully it will stay that way.

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