"Tivo-ifies the web" Paul Kedrosky

The Inter City Firm (1985)

51 min 6 sec Sep 11, 2007


As Punk disappeared and the Mod and Ska revival faded, in the mid 80s, football hooligans in Britain morphed from Doc Marten wearing Skinheads to proto-mulletted, Pringle sweatered ‘Casuals’. Worse than the horrible violence they stirred up were their terrible sartorial inclinations and, unintentionally camp, bouffant hairdos.

This celebrated documentary followed the most famous contemporary gang, West Ham’s ICF or Inter City Firm, so called because their members were aspiring, middle class, season ticket holders who traveled to away matches on the Inter City rail network.

It was the epitome of the worst of Thatcher’s Britain and as such is an historical piece that transcends its narrow subject matter.

history, society, sport

44 comments on “The Inter City Firm (1985)

  1. Oh Yes! Another great program about Britain’s football firms. I could watch documentaries like this all day. Wait…because of this site…I CAN!

  2. Top_Gooner says:

    Hooligans morphed did we ? what a load of pig shit. I never wore doc martens nor had a skin head, and those that did, were doing so in the mid to late 60′s . If you want to make a social comment on these things, please, at least get your facts right.

  3. admin says:


    Most people wearing Doc Martens and sporting skinheads, during the Ska revival were in their diapers, sorry nappies, during the 60s.

    Anyway, I am more interested in the fact that you are actually proud of being a football hooligan? Amazing. I hope you haven’t reproduced.

    1. City of the Blues says:

      Skinheads came in around 1967-69 by the1970s longer hair was coming in but still sporting the gear. As for middle-class yep some may well have been but we came from North Brum and yeah they bloody good days in rough times.

  4. MOTC says:

    Strooth, would you Adam and Eve it? What a panto…Well the geeza with the placard reading (I think) “perilous days god commandeth all people everywhere to repent” sums all this up nicely with “ we’ve had it lads, repent!” Wonderful.

  5. Stepney Iron says:

    Down Upton Park we “morphed” from being skin heads around 1970. We kept the DM’s through until the late ’70′s then converted to trainers and other footwear. Yes, we were aspiring, but definitely working class (not middle class) boys.

    Most of the main (senior) faces kept well out of camera range for this documentary.

  6. Stepney Iron’s time line and facts are far more accurate.

    As for ‘admin’s’ little slag at Top_Gooner: you can’t change your past – people did what they did.

    Top_G isn’t saying he is proud (all these things seem daft in hindsight but at the time there was a fantastic sense of belonging) – he is just saying if you are going to tell it, you should at least do some accurate research and get the basics correct.

  7. iron joe says:

    those where the days irons irons irons

  8. hammerhead says:

    well this bring back loads of memories for me and i b a hammer till i die and hahaha to man u west ham 2 wanker red devils 1 lol haha

  9. Bannednomore says:

    Its hard to believe that the so called “top firm” in London found time to make a documentary. The editing of their run-in with chelsea at victoria was clever. THEY GOT RUN EVERYWHERE. Any of you hammers remember the white transit van driving around that day? perhaps they were to busy looking after their “DEL BOY” style camera. Still those days are gone now and i suppose i wish more firms had recorded the moments we craved then.

  10. Hammer For Life says:

    Bannednomore….THEY GOT RUN EVERYWHERE.
    Thats Rubbish and i dont think you was there with a comment like that.
    What the film dosnt show is the West Ham that slipped Plod and went after Chelsea backstreets.
    Or should i say what was shown on the day.
    Butch the fella doing the recording came with us and filmed us clearly turning Chelsea in.Thats footage was only made available to West ham but i think it is now available.I beleive Jason M has it so go find it you mug.

  11. Stepney Iron says:

    Although this documentary sheds some light on the terrace culture of the 1980′s, fact is it only tells half the story. West Ham’s mob from about 1968 onwards was made up of several different firms from around the East End and Essex hinterlands. The Mile End and TBF being the most prominent, but there were many. They all came together as West Ham for away matches. The term ICF was coined around ’78 and became a sort of umbrella name to describe the West Ham mob, particularly away from home. However, the real hard cases, with one or two exceptions, did not appear on this programme. They had been following West Ham long before the ICF was ever thought of, and some still go today (retired). The documenatery was a revelation at the time, and as a piece of social history well worth the effort, but in reality it did not reflect the formidable nature of the West Ham following at the time, or the individuals involved.

    1. jock hammer says:

      i agree with everything u say.i used to go back then,i lived in cavell st and remember the mile end mob well,from what i seen they were more hardcore and did'nt crave the limelight.

    2. upton says:

      talk about memorys u r right on the button the documentry was when to man u if i remember right kept away from the cameras o wanted to av there mug on the box i know i didnt.av a gdn fellow.upton

  12. visit now says:

    This is great, look forward to looking into every area. Thanks for being there.

  13. rangers says:

    QPR ran the lot of you …

  14. Eastend 1 says:


  15. Englands number 6 says:

    i wished i was as thin and had as much hair as i did in the footage, classic documentary , happy anniversary……

  16. goonerman says:

    Bring back the days off us all fighting at football, to late history repeats itself, its only a matter of time and i can’t wait ;o)

  17. northern casual says:

    the service were the top boys

  18. hammer says:

    In these days west ham were feared,we ran from no one even when heavily outnumbered,top firm of all time.

  19. Hamed the Hammer says:

    You stink of blow offs

  20. Phil says:

    Fantasy the doc shows you getting legged everywhere at Old Trafford and when you came to Anfield the ICF were dismantled, ask anyone who was there.

  21. Bannednomore says:

    Hey hammer for life, i was there all rite, maybe you did bash some chelsea up the back streets. but i can tell you now that werent the chelsea firm. stevie I, Billy M, stevie R and co held back and picked you off at will. amazing what ya see when looking through a camera lens! Aint that why you lot put it out that stevie I was gonna be ambushed at charing X later (revenge). If i remember rite we had to come to you when you were at home to Norwich one bank holiday evening. yeah 50 of us turned up at your place. WERE YOU THERE or was you and butch trying to flog your film off.

  22. stepney Iron says:

    Nobody from the West Ham mob if he is honest will try to claim invincibility. There were plenty of occasions over the years when through sheer weight of numbers it would all come on top and we would take a hiding. It happened at Liverpool and Everton in the streets on a few occasions and once at Man. City. We also had regular run ins with Notts Forest and Stoke who gave as good as they got. However, if you wanted to do West Ham you had to go toe to toe and take some casualties in the process and most clubs didn’t have the bottle.

    In our eyes, despite their numbers, and whatever this documentary may appear to show, Man. Utd could never do the business with us. A lot of screaming and shouting and running up and down the street picking off stragglers and scarfers but when it came to our main boys they could not look us in the face.
    Having said that, they were the last club to make a significant mark at Upton Park – 1967 when they took the North Bank at 1:30 pm and despite the best efforts of the Mile End were still present at quarter to five. It never happened again. A bloody afternoon and it was still going off back along the railway and at Euston at 8pm. To cap it off they beat us on the pitch too, 6-1!

    Sorry to disappoint some on here but the only London mobs we had any respect for were the North Bank, Highbury in the late ’60′s and ’70′s and Millwall. By the mid ’80′s even Arsenal had disappeared off our radar.

    1. inter city jibber says:

      so who was it who took the piss at upton park in 1967(red army),who marched from stratford station to upton park 1981(icj),the night of the ballies(mib) and thats just at west ham.
      As for old trafford you did fuck all and spent most of your time looking for an escort,why did mr gardner leave 20 minutes before the end of the cup game,then pleaded with harry to stop it when he was getting served up off sammy's young munichs…….

  23. Ben says:

    does anyone know where to get the millwall panorama

  24. Ben says:

    and who which one in the film is carlton leech

    1. inter city jibber says:

      carltons in the nike t shirt on the streets at the start and in the pub with the kid out of the cockney rejects and brett t.Respect to the 3,very hard lads just a shame they let people carry on with the "unbeatable icf" bullshit which was not needed.
      Along with spurs(trespect due to them) man utd rate west ham as the top 2 in the uk…

  25. pob says:

    das hooligano

  26. Show says:

    Any of you west ham remember parsons green ambush by Chelsea ?

  27. chelmsford heard says:

    just remember 1983, OR SHOULD I SAY ” LIBERTY 83″ jenkins boys battered the icf for 8 hours solid !!

  28. H says:

    I just wonder how many of these guys grew up and got a life. Or forever remained idiots…

  29. Jasper says:

    I’m not privvy to all your london stuff however from an impartial viewpoint the ICF were certianly the first organised mob we ever heard of down south or aspired to. Aberdeen were doing the business at this time too and shouldn’t be forgotten as one of the best mobs around and i’m talking UK wide.

  30. THE COUNT says:

    He’s only a poor little hammer
    his clothes are all tattered and torn
    he came for a fight
    so we set him alight
    and now he wont come anymore

    1. HappyHammer42 says:

      Hey mate…u shouldn't have an 'o' in your name.

      Big deal lobbing a petrol bomb from a few hundred yards, typical geordie mug trick!…did we run??…did we fuck.
      And where were yur boys when the magpie was smashed up??

      50,000 muppets!!!…enjoy life in the championship!

  31. BigFatLump says:

    These ICF are just stupid kids in this video, im sure they must have got done many times.Though the way they think of themselves as some kind of invincible super heroies who never got done! Thats probably because they were running!
    West ham dont make me laugh.!!!

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    1. City of the Blues says:

      Why don't you fuck off

  35. NME says:

    newcastle never once got turned over when i was there and we pretroll bombed west ham i remember when we chased millwall into a pub and they ran in the pub and locked the door haha

  36. canning town hammer 58 says:

    west ham were a class apart,we never bottled it even if heavily outnumbered

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