Hull City Psychos and the Monte Carlo Mob: The football hooligans that rampaged through Hull - 05/04/2020
Source : https://www.hulldailymail.co.uk/
Long gone are the days of mass violence on the terraces and city centre skirmishes before a football match – at least for the most part.
While football hooliganism is largely a thing of the past in England, it is still known to rear its ugly head from time to time.
Thankfully, trouble in Hull now seems to be consigned to the history books and most young fans of today will never have to witness anything like the disturbing scenes of the 70s, 80s and 90s when pubs were "besieged", axes were found on away fans and inter-firm fighting was commonplace.
Throughout that time, Hull’s reputation for fan violence was among the most notorious in the country. Various groups spawned and re-spawned over three decades as fear and thuggery became the norm at home and away games where the Tigers were involved.
'Firms' including the Kempton Fusiliers and the Silver Cod Squad each had periods of dominance in the city, but one name continues to by synonymous with the troubled past – the Hull City Psychos.
After the troubled 60s, years of quiet ensued before hooliganism in Hull returned when various mobs came together to usher in a new dawn for football violence in Hull.
In one case, City fans took over pubs in Tranmere in a bid to avenge a beating they suffered years earlier. A Hull fan was knocked unconscious by a glass ashtray after a group of home fans stood their ground.
In another, Hull supporters ambushed a group of Middlesbrough fans with missiles as they pinned the Teessiders into a pub before police finally weighed in.
On the same day, police raided a van full of City fans where they discovered “a fireman’s axe, a weighted cosh, Stanley blades and some Hull City calling cards”, according to City fan Shaun Tordoff in the book ‘Hooligans’, written by Nick Lowles and Andy Nicholls. A total of 22 men were arrested.
In the 21st century, the City Psychos remains a name synonymous with the trouble of the past but doesn’t stand alone as the only gang behind decades of trouble.
Among the first were the Monte Carlo Mob – not named after the area of the principality of Monaco but after an Osborne Street café. The mob, who gathered in the café on match days before ‘greeting’ away fans off the train, gained a fearsome reputation and became well known for one trademark in particular.
The group, led by a heavily tattooed man known simply as Sinbad, became famous for their black boot tattoos which each had a unique number denoting the person’s ranking in the mob.
While trouble was frequent and often, the “Battle of Bramall Lane” became a notorious flash-point in the gang’s rule of the late 60s and 70s. Around 10,000 City fans made the trip to Sheffield United and coaches were left damaged and brawls broke out on and off the pitch. At the time, the Hull Daily Mail led with that now infamous headline.
Even when the opposition did not offer much in return, various City factions used to look to create their own entertainment by scrapping between themselves, before coming back together to take on rival cities on away trips.
In the book, Tordoff recalled numerous flare ups down the years. On one occasion, a Sheffield Wednesday fan was thrown through a shop window causing “extensive back injuries”, on another, 800 fans “besieged” Stockport and on a third occasion, the “Battle of Dock Street” resulted in Hull fans turning on each other in a vicious gang fight – one man was even stabbed through his lung.
Quietness descended for several years until the Hull City Psychos were born.
Even when violence had been seen the back of for the most part in the early 2000s, it was still at the forefront of many people’s minds.
A fresh-faced Danny Dyer, now of EastEnders fame, presented a programme called The Real Football Factories in his attempt to document the troublesome firm and the fear of being a supporter heading to a game in Hull.
The six-part series visited terraces up and down the land and while some uncovered the hooligan element was still alive and well, the trip to Hull took on a more underwhelming tone.
Opening the segment on a train into the city as he made his way to the recently-opened KCOM Stadium, Dyer said: “I’ve got the image of a right small little town in the middle of nowhere with loads of northerners running about ripping lumps out of each other.
“Hull have a fearsome firm of their own – the aptly named Hull City Psychos. As I got nearer to the firm, the reality of the danger I was in began to dawn on me.
“I don’t want to be stabbed and my teeth, I don’t want to lose my railings.”
However the game, a derby between Hull and Leeds, passed off without incident and the home side won 1-0.
But as the turn of the millennium appeared to usher in a more relaxed approach to watching football, that did not mean violence had gone away.
In 2002, trouble marred a pre-season friendly between City and Middlesbrough.
Officers on horseback and wearing riot gear had to escort 150 visiting fans to Boothferry Park out of pubs in Anlaby Road “for their own safety”, as was reported at the time. They were led onto a double-decker bus and left in Pickering Park under police guard to keep them from harm.
Boro fan Tommy Laurie, 40, said: “We were in the Tam-Tam bar when the police came in and said they were getting a bus to take us to Boothferry Park for our own safety.
“As it was, the bus was driven out of Hull and then back into this park. We’ve come all this way just to see a lot of trees.”
Even in 2010, football was the cause of a brawl Hull Cheese pub in Paragon Street, decades after fighting broke out in there before several big games.
A gang of hooligans started a mass brawl with a group of notorious criminals when a man was knocked out in the melee.
Following heated verbal exchanges,one man was punched in the face and a mass brawl broke out.
Chairs, drinks trays and glasses were all thrown during the violent clashes.
At one point, one side of the fracas picked up bar stools and tables and threw them at the opposition, forcing them out of the pub and into a street brawl.A large disturbance results in one man being knocked to the ground during City's game with BoltonA brawl spills out into Paragon Street in 2010