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|Aston Villa Hardcore|
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The firm have been active since 1993, following on from previous Aston Villa hooligan firms the Steamers, C-Crew and Villa Youth. The Hardcore have been involved in some high-profile hooligan fights in Europe, while following Villa and England. The firm still exists today, but, like all hooligan firms, they have been marginalised. The Hardcore have clashed a number of times with city and fierce rivals, the Birmingham Zulus, associated with Aston Villa's fiercest rivals Birmingham City.
Fifteen people were arrested in October 2002 in a series of dawn raids in connection with serious disorders committed in the Rocky Lane area of Aston before the game between Aston Villa and Birmingham City in September 2002, in what was described as the "Battle of Rocky Lane". In 2004 one member, Steven Fowler, a Category C hooligan, was jailed for six months for his part in the fight in 2002. In 2005 he received a twelve month jail sentence and was banned from attending football matches for ten years, for his part in an organised brawl between the Villa Hardcore and Chelsea Headhunters at King's Cross in London on 27 March 2004, while five other Villa fans were also jailed. One of them was Steven Fowler, who already had a string of convictions for football related violence to his name, and was jailed again in 2006 when he and 57 other people were found guilty of their involvement in a riot at a Handsworth pub on 22 August 2004 - the same day as Villa's Premier League clash with local rivals West Bromwich Albion.
In November 2006 a planned launch of the book Villains about the various Aston Villa hooligan firms, which included details of clashes with the Birmingham Zulus, which was due to be held at Sensations Club in the Balsall Heath area of Birmingham, had to be cancelled due to threats that the Zulus would turn up and cause trouble at the event. The Zulus were said to have taken exception to the launch of the book and the presence of rivals on what they considered "their territory".
In October 2008, Fowler, along with Michael Lutwyche released a book entitled Hardcore about the firm.
A younger wing of the firm has recently emerged under the banner "Hardcore Youth" with two members of the firm being banned in January 2010 from attending Aston Villa matches, being in the vicinity of Villa Park on match-days, and, when Villa are playing away from home, using trains to travel the country and from entering the relevant town-centre. The pair were branded as "ring-leaders" by police and also were made to pay a fine of £500 each in court.
In October and November 2010, Aston Villa played Birmingham City, at Villa Park (Premier League, 31 October) and St Andrew's (Carling Cup, 1 December) and in both games violence between the two sets of supporters and hooligan firms occurred, with many fans being arrested. In the first game, there were scenes of violence outside Villa Park, with Villa fans throwing a flare into Birmingham fans leaving Villa Park, there were a small amount of arrests including a Birmingham City club chef.
In the second of the two games (and larger scale violence) after Birmingham had beaten Villa 2-1, Birmingham supporters invaded the pitch and confronted the visiting Villa fans, in retaliation Villa fans ripped out seats and hurled them into the Birmingham supporters, a flare was thrown from the Villa fans section into the Birmingham fans on the pitch, this was then traded between the two sets of fans, a Villa fan has since been convicted of this along with a number of other Villa fans who were picked out on CCTV after the game for offences, including the attack on a pub near St. Andrews frequented by Birmingham City supporters by Villa hooligans. There were also flash points before and after the game, the events were described as a "warzone" by a supporter who attended the game. As a result of these incidents, Birmingham City Council along with West Midlands Police decided to restrict Villa's ticket allocation for the return Premier League game at St. Andrews in January 2011.
On 13 August 2011, the Birmingham Mail published an appeal for information after several Villa fans seriously vandalised a train taking Villa supporters to Birmingham New Street after Villa's friendly match away against Derby County on 3 August. The destruction included tray tables being ripped from the backs of seats, seat coverings being damaged and lights being smashed. The damage meant the train had to be taken out of service for 24 hours for repairs.
В 1990-ых годах Combat 18 пытались вербовать сторонников на Вилла Парк, но мы смогли пресечь эти попытки путем совместных действий суппортеров и casuals Астон Виллы, разделюящих антифашистские взгляды, а так же членов Anti-Fascist Action. Недавно прошедшая в Бирмингеме демонстрация EDL усилила антифашистские тенденции и на Вилле была сформирована группа, называющая себя «Aston Villa Anti-Fascists».
Целью группы является борьба с любыми попытками EDL и BNP привлекать в свои ряды людей с трибун Вилла Парк или пабов вокруг стадиона, а так же противодействие горстке сторонников правой идеологии, которые есть на Вилле и уже участвуют в EDL.
- Brown, Danny; Paul Brittle (10 February 2008). Villains: The Inside Story of Aston Villa's Hooligan Gangs. Milo Books. ISBN 1903854679.
- Lutwyche, Michael; Steven Patrick Fowler (18 October 2008). Hardcore. VHC Publishing. ISBN 978-0-9561302-0-4.
- ↑ http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/2316631.stm
- ↑ http://icbirmingham.icnetwork.co.uk/0100news/0100localnews/tm_objectid=15812781&method=full&siteid=50002&headline=jail-for-top-villa-hooligan-name_page.html/
- ↑ http://icbirmingham.icnetwork.co.uk/mail/news/tm_method=full&objectid=18211647&siteid=50002-name_page.html
- ↑ http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/west_midlands/6161440.stm
- ↑ http://www.birminghammail.net/birmingham-sport/aston-villa-fc/aston-villa-news/2010/01/22/aston-villa-hooligans-banned-from-attending-matches-97319-25657431/
- ↑ http://www.birminghammail.net/birmingham-sport/birmingham-city-fc/birmingham-city-fc-news/2010/12/22/birmingham-city-chef-in-court-over-aston-villa-v-birmingham-city-hooliganism-97319-27868514/
- ↑ http://www.birminghammail.net/news/top-stories/2011/03/22/aston-villa-fans-jailed-for-attack-on-man-utd-fans-97319-28381039/
- ↑ http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-birmingham-11896282
- ↑ http://www.avfc.co.uk/page/NewsDetail/0,,10265~2243052,00.html
- ↑ http://www.birminghammail.net/birmingham-sport/aston-villa-fc/aston-villa-news/2011/08/13/appeal-for-information-after-villa-thugs-smash-up-train-97319-29226344/
- ↑ http://offside-mag.com/archives/216