Wednesday, December 7


Watched the premiere of Cass Pennant’s new documentary film Casuals at Borough High Street’s Roxy Bar last week.

It’s a fascinating piece of soccer sociology, exploring the terrace-inspired Casual look of the 1980s. At the height of Thatcherism, suddenly the terraces were full of lads with wedge cuts wearing Fila, Tacchini, Pringle, Ellesse and pre-chav Burberry.

Produced and written by Pennant, and directed by Nick Kelly, Casuals is narrated by Peter Hooton of The Farm, and has contributions from the likes of Pat Nevin and Paolo Hewitt.

Casuals begins in Brighton and looks at how the mod look was updated by the Casuals. The movement started off in Liverpool, where everyone wanted what they called  “Adeedas” (Adidas) trainers.

The Scousers would use European trips to search out and purloin ever more exclusive brands.  It was all about one-upmanship, and some lads could return from spending a week’s wages on the latest Tacchini gear only to find that another more exclusive label was in vogue. Bizarrely Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe became terrace fashion heroes as the kids bought into Fila and Ellesse tops. 

There’s interesting contributions from female casuals such as Helen Thomas from the Cardiff Soul Crew and Bev Thompson from Leicester Baby squad, as well as Asian Riaz Khan and the “Lacoste Lefties” from the Cardiff Soul Crew.

Quite a few (designer) anoraks are on display too. From the bloke who’s got 400 Adidas trainers round his gaff, to Neil Primett owner of 80s Casual Classics with his endless racks of Fila tops.

Casuals is an excellent social document of a time when football was in a different pre-Sky/Premier League age. 

Could the Casuals return? Well, my crew in the East Stand favours Dukla Prague away shirts (Matt), Somerset Maugham jackets and cigars (Fraser), AC/DC denim jackets (Nigel) and Berghaus fleeces, Craghopper trousers and DMs (me), though strangely no young Scallies have started to imitate us. Give it time though, and they’ll realise we’re style icons.


matt said...

The most casual thing I've seen at the Boleyn recently was the approach to defending under Avram.

Pete May said...

It was pretty Casual on Saturday too...

Gary Naylor said...

Not sure they do my size Pete - alas!