Loafers weren’t exactly a treat to run in, now were they? Looked the dogs bollocks but when you’re taking off down the street trying to avoid the Old Bill they didn’t come in handy. Getting rid of ’em would probably be quicker. But they’re brand new, ain’t they? Not tossing these ones away.
It was obvious the second you and the lads stepped into the Tottenham Royal that something was going to kick off. You’d all had a couple of drinks in the Chesham Arms prior to making your way over to the Royal, and every one in your lot was buzzing. The black bombers Viv had picked up were doing the trick.
“Sufferer” was blaring as your lot made their way in. One of the only reggae tunes you were likely to hear all night at the Royal, it was a rush to the packed dance floor to show off your best moves. Although reggae was number one in your heart, everyone had decided to give the Four Aces a miss because the girls at the Royal were better looking.
It felt like everyone in the place was watching you. Probably were. Steve hadn’t been happy about you wearing that new blazer you’d had made up, West Ham badge taking pride of place on the breast. Said it would lead to trouble. It had.
A thud on the side of your head followed by a numb sensation was the first clue. Stepping back to gain your senses there was some bloke, few years older, midway through his second swing. This one caught you square on the nose, claret everywhere.
Instincts kicked in, grabbing him by his collar and hitting him back as hard as you could. He stumbled back upon impact, you looking around to see what was going on. It was pure fucking pandemonium. Girls running off the dancefloor screaming, lads not involved standing at the sides watching the aggro.
As you had started figuring it all out, looked like there were about fifteen lads trying to batter your lot of five, and funny enough “Trouble In The Town” was blaring. Bizarre they’d play two reggae tracks all night, let along back to back. It was providing the soundtrack.
These friendships had been forged growing up together, standing on the terraces in Upton Park and around the country. If these mugs planned on battering you and yours, they were going to have to put up a hell of a fight.
A chair had been kicked over in the mad rush away from the dancefloor. Handy. Picking it up you steamed into this group of mugs swinging madly. It had connected solidly with someone, probably the lad laying spark out on the ground.
Regrouping with your lot, it was time to get your back against the wall, preparing for those other lads to come back at you. If you had your backs against the wall they couldn’t surprise you, they had to come straight at you. Perfect.
But they never came, instead choosing to turn and run. Looking around at one another, it was time to prove a point. All your lot steamed out of the Royal, chasing whoever these mugs were. Couldn’t have been Millwall or Chelsea, they wouldn’t run. Maybe Arsenal, maybe it was Tottenham. Didn’t matter at that point.
Once out the front door bottles had started reigning down, maybe these lads knew what they were doing after all. One landed right on top of your head, the all too familiar warm and moist feeling of blood instantly recognized upon your touch.
The chants went up. It was fucking Chelsea. After the kicking they had taken at Upton Park earlier in the year, they were likely to look for a little revenge. How in the hell were you going to get over to them, bottles flying?
The sound of sirens took away that concern. Now it was time to just not get knicked. Everyone separated, an uneasy feeling filling your stomach, as you ran off. At least you knew these back streets well. Hopefully that Chelsea crew didn’t.