...By Enitan Thompson for TDPel Media.
Former Millwall hooligan, Ginger Bob, has claimed that he and 11 other members of his gang attacked around 125 West Ham hooligans and threw petrol bombs at them during an incident known as the “London Bridge incident” during the 1980s.
Speaking to James English’s Anything Goes podcast, Ginger Bob claimed that he was front and centre of the infamous riot and that despite West Ham fans denying that it ever happened, he and his gang did attack their rivals.
According to Ginger Bob, he and his gang were not armed but the West Ham supporters were, and during the attack, they were able to disarm them.
West Ham fans have disputed Ginger Bob’s account, with some saying that the story is “the ultimate lie”.
The incident highlights the extent of football hooliganism in the UK during the 80s and the rivalry between Millwall and West Ham supporters.
While such incidents have become much rarer today, they are still a concern for law enforcement and security officials at football matches.
It also highlights the way that football can be used as a way to generate a sense of community and belonging, but also as a way to generate conflict and violence.
The ongoing rivalry between football supporters can also be seen in other countries, such as Argentina, where clashes between supporters of Boca Juniors and River Plate have sometimes led to violent incidents.
While football has made efforts to tackle hooliganism, such incidents show that more needs to be done to promote respect and tolerance among supporters of rival clubs.
This can include initiatives such as anti-hate campaigns, education programmes, and better stewarding at matches.
At the same time, it is important to remember that not all football supporters are involved in hooliganism and that the vast majority of people who attend football matches do so to enjoy the game and the camaraderie of being with others who share their love of football.
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