Football hooliganism

When violence was the norm: Britain in the 1980s

In middle age you’re supposed to feel nostalgia for your youth, but I finished this book marvelling at how dreadful the 1980s were. The decade hit rock bottom in May 1985 when, within 18 days, 56 football fans died in a fire at Bradford City and 39 in crushes before the Liverpool-Juventus match at the Heysel Stadium. All through, though, the 1980s lived up to one of Roger Domeneghetti’s chapter titles, named for The Barracudas’ song of 1981: ‘We’re living in violent times.’  The author, a journalist and academic, has an ambitious premise: sport is the key to understanding what really happened to Britain in the 1980s. The book doesn’t