The violent world of Bolton’s football hooligans has been exposed in a controversial new book.
Walking Down The Manny Road tells the story of Bolton’s various “firms” or gangs, uniting under the name of The Cuckoo Boys, and their clashes with rival groups attached to other football clubs. It also describes the hooligans’ links with the English Defence League and their presence at EDL rallies, including the protest in Bolton town centre in March last year.
The book is written by Doug Mitchell, who claims to have been a member of The Cuckoo Boys for 30 years. He describes how mobs such as the Tonge Moor Stanley Boys, The Horwich Casuals, The Halliwell Cutters Crew and the Billy Whizz Fan Club united under The Cuckoo Boys banner.
A story in The Bolton Evening News, from May 19, 1990, is quoted in the opening pages, describing the hooligans as “Thugs who peddle terror in the name of Bolton Wanderers”.
Mr Mitchell moved to Bolton from Edinburgh when he was eight, and grew up in Farnworth. He first found a taste for “recreational violence”, he says, when he took part in organised fights between schools — as a pupil at George Tomlinson’s he says he regularly fought with groups from St James’s and Harper Green.
The book charts hooliganism from several decades ago, right up to the present day While the book defends the EDL, claiming it is not a racist organisation, it also describes some of the hooligans who support the organisation as openly racist.
A spokesman for Bolton Wanderers said he had not heard of the book. Bolton Wanderers Supporters Association secretary Christopher Peacock said: “Hooligan is a prehistoric and outdated phenomenon and anything that glorifies it should be considered with the same disdain as hooliganism itself.”
Thanks to NewsHound for the heads-up