Finished one of my Aggro firms.
While on the field it may have seemed like a Roy of the Rovers story for Melchester in the 70s, off the field, things were less comic. The Melchester Rovers fans in the 70s were famous for following their team through the slings and roundabouts (and several kidnappings) of outrageous football fortune, and also for shouting handy descriptions of the action from the sidelines. What is less well-known is that the darker side of football fanaticism reached even as far as these media darlings.
The Melchester Headhunters soon gained a reputation as one of the most violent and disruptive hooligan firms. While Melchester Rovers were being crowned champions one year, and being relegated the next, the Headhunters could be guaranteed to follow their team through thick and thin, and leave a scene of destruction in their wake. Whether it was against fans of local rivals Melboro, or the firms of teams such as Everpool, Burndean or Tynecaster, the Headhunters would express their love of their club through acts of violence, especially kicking people's heads in.
Things reached their nadir during the 1978 European Cup Final. A 3-2 loss to Dutch champions Alkhoven resulted in pitched battles and uncontrollable mayhem as the two sets of fans fought through the streets of Lombardo. These shocking scenes drawn across the pages of dozens of comics meant that no longer could Roy Race's dark underbelly be ignored.
These days, football across the land has managed to clean up its act, the arrival of Melchester fans is no longer greeted with dread by rival stewards and the police. But even today, among the gentrified, middle-aged prawn sandwich brigade of Mel Park, the odd wistful comment of nostalgia for those heady days of mindless violence can still be heard.