IMPORTANT:This page has used Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia in either a refactored, modified, abridged, expanded, built on or 'straight from' text content! (view authors)

Hooliganism refers to unruly, destructive, aggressive and bullying behaviour. Such behaviour is commonly associated with sports fans, particularly supporters of association football. The term can also apply to general rowdy behaviour and vandalism, often under the influence of alcohol and or drugs. See citation from Cafe Racer TV referring to Frank Ford.


There are several theories about the origin of the word hooliganism. The Compact Oxford English Dictionary states that word may originate from the surname of a fictional rowdy Irish family in a music hall song of the 1890s.[1][2] Clarence Rook, in his 1899 book, Hooligan Nights, claimed that the word came from Patrick Hoolihan (or Hooligan), an Irish bouncer and thief who lived in the London borough of Southwark.[3] Another writer, Earnest Weekley, wrote in his 1912 book Romance of Words, "The original hooligans were a spirited Irish family of that name whose proceedings enlivened the drab monotony of life in Southwark about fourteen years ago".[3] There have also been references made to a 19th century rural Irish family with the surname Houlihan who were known for their wild lifestyle, then later evolving into O'Holohan (in keeping with the tradition of Irish families for O' to begin the anglicised name, the Gaelic being Ó hUallacháin).[citation needed] Another theory is that the term came from a street gang in Islington named Hooley.[citation needed] Yet another theory is that the term is based on an Irish word, houlie, which means a wild, spirited party.[4]

Early usage of the term

The term hooligan- when it was used to describe the name of a street gang in London - at approximately the same time as Manchester's street gangs, known as the "Scuttlers" were gaining notoriety. The first use of the term is unknown, but the word first appeared in print in London police-court reports in 1894 referring to the name of a gang of youths in the Lambeth area of London - the Hooligan Boys,[5] and later - the O'Hooligan Boys.[6] In August 1898 a murder in Lambeth committed by a member of the gang drew further attention to the word which was immediately popularized by the press.[7] The London-based newspaper Daily Graphic wrote in an article on 22 August 1898, "The avalanche of brutality which, under the name of ‘Hooliganism’ ... has cast such a dire slur on the social records of South London".[2][3]

Arthur Conan Doyle wrote in his 1904 novel The Adventure of the Six Napoleons, "It seemed to be one of those senseless acts of Hooliganism which occur from time to time, and it was reported to the constable on the beat as such". H. G. Wells wrote in his 1909 semi-autobiographical novel Tono-Bungay, "Three energetic young men of the hooligan type, in neck-wraps and caps, were packing wooden cases with papered-up bottles, amidst much straw and confusion".[3]

Later, as the meaning of the word shifted slightly, none of the possible alternatives had precisely the same undertones of a person, usually young, who is a member of an informal group and commits acts of vandalism or criminal damage, starts fights, and who causes disturbances but is not a thief.[3] The word was internationalized in the 20th century in the Soviet Union as khuligan, which referred to scofflaws or political dissenters.[2] Matthias Rust was convicted of hooliganism, among other things, for his 1987 Cessna landing in Red Square.

Hooliganism in sport

The word hooliganism and hooligan began to be associated with violence in sports, in particular from the 1980s in the UK with football hooliganism. However, one of the earliest known instances of crowd violence at a sporting event took place in ancient Constantinople. Two chariot racing factions, the Blues and the Greens, were involved in the Nika riots which lasted around a week in 532 C.E.; nearly half the city was burned or destroyed in addition to tens of thousands of deaths.[8]

Hooliganism in film

See also


  1. "hooligan". Compact Oxford English Dictionary. Oxford English Dictionary. Retrieved 2008-10-15.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Template:OEtymD
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Quinion, Michael (27 June 1998). "Hooligan". World Wide Words. Retrieved 2010-06-30.
  4. Fergusson, Rosalind; Partridge, Eric; Beale, Paul (2 ecember 1993). Shorter Slang Dictionary. Routledge. pp. 113. ISBN 0415088666.
  5. "Who were the original Hooligans?". Daily News, 24 April 1894. Retrieved 2009-03-12.
  6. "Who were the original Hooligans?". Reynolds Newspaper, 29 April 1894. Retrieved 2009-03-12.
  7. "Who were the original Hooligans?". The Penny Illustrated Paper and Illustrated Times, 13 August 1898. Retrieved 2009-03-12.
  8. McComb, David (2 September 2004). Sports in World History (Themes in World History). Routledge. p. 25. ISBN 0415318122.

Further reading

  • Armstrong, Gary (1 January 1998). Football Hooligans: Knowing the Score (Explorations in Anthropology). Berg Publishers. ISBN 1859739571.
  • Brimson, Dougie (3 March 2003). Eurotrashed: The rise and rise of Europe's football hooligans. Headline. ISBN 0755311108.
  • Brimson, Dougie (29 May 2006). Kicking Off: Why hooliganism and racism are killing football. Headline Book Publishing. ISBN 0755314328.
  • Brimson, Dougie (29 September 2006). Rebellion: The growth of football's Protest Movement. John Blake Publishing Ltd. ISBN 1844542882.
  • Brimson, Dougie (16 October 2007). March of the Hooligans: Soccer's Bloody Fraternity. Virgin Books. ISBN 0753512939.
  • Buford, Bill (May 1992). Among the Thugs: The Experience, and the Seduction, of Crowd Violence. New York, United States: W W Norton & Co Inc. ISBN 978-0393033816.
  • Dunning, Eric; Murphy, Patrick; Waddington, Ivan; Astrinakis, Antonios (14 May 2002). Fighting Fans: Football Hooliganism as a World Phenomenon. University College Dublin Press. ISBN 1900621746.
  • Humphries, Stephen (7 October 1995). Hooligans or Rebels?: Oral History of Working Class Childhood and Youth, 1889-1939. WileyBlackwell. ISBN 0631199845.
  • James, Michael (1 May 2005). Family Game: the untold story of hooliganism in Rugby League. Parrs Wood Press. ISBN 1903158621.
  • Neuberge, J (9 September 1993). Hooliganism: Crime, Culture, and Power in St. Petersburg, 1900-1914 (Studies on the History of Society & Culture). University of California Press. ISBN 0520080114.
  • Perryman, Mark (3 October 2002). Hooligan Wars: Causes and Effects of Football Violence. Mainstream Publishing. ISBN 1840186704.
  • Pearson, Geoffrey (9 June 1983). Hooligan: A History of Respectable Fears. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 0333234006.

External links

ar:التعصب الرياضي ast:Hooligans bs:Huliganstvo cs:Hooligans co:Hooligan da:Hooliganisme de:Hooligan es:Hooligan eo:Huligano eu:Hooligan fr:Hooligan hr:Huliganstvo it:Hooligan he:חוליגניות nl:Hooliganisme ja:フーリガン no:Hooliganisme pl:Chuligan pt:Hooliganismo ru:Хулиганство sco:Neddism fi:Huliganismi sv:Huliganism uk:Хуліганство wa:Woliganisse bat-smg:Chuliganėzmos zh:球迷骚乱

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.