Book review: Rolling With The 6.57 Crew


Pompey Playing Up

Rolling With The 6.57 Crew – By Cass Pennant & Rob Silvester

First Published : 2004

ISBN 1 84454 072 3

Score out of 5 :

I’ve decided to start reviewing footy related books on the blog, just to add something different to the general themes of following the Albion and casual clothing. The reviews won’t necessarily be about the latest books, just ones I have read recently and that are loosely related to all things football.

I also have a guilty pleasure to admit to – hooligan memoirs. I’ve never been in trouble at a game in my life, or so much as growled at opposing fans, but while I don’t condone or glorify hooliganism, it is something inextricably linked to the very fabric of the game, like it or not. I’m also fascinated with the motives, the people involved, and the actual events from these often vicious times. But not all the football related books I read are about young men kicking the shit out each other, biogs and polemics about the state of the modern game float my boat too. Just don’t expect to see Nick Hornby being lionized on this site.

First up is a book co-written by the Tom Clancy of “Hoolie Lit” – Mr Cass Pennant. Cass was a famous member of the infamous ICF of West Ham, and he loves to tell a tale does Cass. The book, though full of spelling and grammatical errors, is a rollicking ride in the wake of the nutty skates of Portsmouth FC from the early skinhead days of 68-69, through the casual heyday of the early eighties, and the slow decline of large-scale bedlam at football in the nineties and noughties. I always read these kinds of books with a large handful of salt, and this one especially, as the skates run everyone all over the place it seems. Co-author Rob Silvester was a hardcore member of the “6.57”, a crew named after the time of the early Saturday morning train leaving Portsmouth for London, where these boys usually launched themselves on each naughty awayday up and down the country.

It’s a good read nonetheless, and describes well some of the undoubtedly tough characters produced by the very insular and school-of-hard-knocks city that is Portsmouth, very entertaining.


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