It seems like just the other day that we were lamenting about the lack of decent hooligan stories, and then bang, a load of them fall onto our desks all at once. It appears that late last year more than 30 of Crystal Palace’s gamest lads rushed Charlton Athletic fans on a train between Sydenham and Penge East stations, in what has hyperbolically been dubbed a “pre-planned riot.” Thing is though, rather than targeting specifically the Charlton firm, they mashed up a load of regular passengers. Casualties not listed in the media reports include a woman who had her jaw broken, and a little girl of 10-years-old who was treated for facial injuries. Pretty hardcore eh? As a result, some people got understandably a bit upset, and several top boys are now facing up to four years on lockdown.
A jury heard that the mob banged on train windows and threw bottles as the train arrived at Sydenham station, while a roar went up as they boarded the first two carriages, immediately attacking people. They reportedly chanted “kill them,” which seems a bit extreme, and “get off our manor,” which to be fair is perfectly reasonable. Witnesses helpfully described the violence as “pandemonium,” as if “all hell had broken loose.” And what did the two clubs say? A Crystal Palace FC spokesman offered this: “In support of the police the club will be banning for life all and any of the offenders who masquerade as football supporters of Crystal Palace Football Club.” Charlton Athletic Football Club operations director Mick Everett meanwhile said the attack was “an act of contemptible thuggery carried out by mindless idiots.”
Meet the Mindless idiots then. Clive Taylor, Carl Thomas, Darren Bush, Andrew Spicer and Bobby Kennett, all between 30 and 50 years old, and 21-year-old Ashley White, were all found guilty of violent disorder this month. Christmas cards for Taylor, Thomas, Bush, White and Spicer can now be sent Belmarsh, while Kennett actually bought the farm last month before the hearing so, I dunno, send his widow a bouquet maybe if you really must.
The lads were all part of Palace’s quite shitly-named Dirty 30 crew, who, as you can see from here, aren’t too good with computers and that. Anyway, a little bit of superficial research revealed that this Carl Thomas chap is actually a drum and bass MC, known as Flux. Now I don’t know quite how it works these days, but I think ‘street cred’ can be worked out using a simple algorithm, where can achieve a balance between being a good MC and being a good criminal. That is to say, you’re fine to get away with being a shit MC if you carry guns and properly kill people, but you have to be an amazing MC to get away with something as wet as punching a woman and a child. Lucky for Flux then that he constantly drops heavyweight sick bars, innit fam.
In what is a cruel, cruel irony, it seems that all these lads will be sharing jail space with plenty of Charlton’s own top boys, still incarcerated from 2002’s Maze Hill riot. No doubt when lads like Dave ‘Three Lions’ Walker get wind of what the Dirty 30 did, Thomas et al will be biting the pillow, or whatever hip gay rape euphemism is ‘in’ at the moment.