Writing – The Journey (Blog Post No 7) – Mike Layton

‘Keep Right On’ – historical crime fiction – the sequel to ‘Black Over Bill’s Mothers’

Birmingham 1976. Aston Villa and Birmingham City football clubs are in the First Division. They are blood rivals, whose hooligan ‘football firms’ are locked in a vicious struggle for supremacy. Two criminal families, The Murphy’s and the Carters, control the firms, and they hate each other. But love crosses the boundaries between them, setting off a tragic chain of events. Can it prevail over the violence?

In the background, the National Front fight on the streets, racism is on the rise, and it’s the hottest summer in living memory.

Mike Carter runs a team of hooligans with affiliations to Birmingham City Football Club. His arch-enemy is Colin Murphy who leads a like-minded group affiliated to Aston Villa Football Club.

Their stories are told against the backcloth of the 1975/6 football season, with factual accounts of many the games, when the names of stars such as Trevor Francis and Andy Gray were revered by the supporters.

Battling the violence is a third tribe – the police – and Detective Inspector Rob Docker makes a return from ‘Black Over Bill’s Mothers’ to use every means possible, whether lawful or otherwise, to destroy both groups as the ever increasing levels of violence lead to murder. Make ‘no bones about it’ Rob Docker is a ‘nasty piece of work’ and makes ‘Life On Mars’ look like a children’s story. A man on the ‘dark side’ of his profession.

On the streets of Birmingham, another struggle is being played out as the National Front try to seize the hearts and minds of some of those whose first love was the game of football. Who remembers the story of ‘Robert Relf’ who went to prison for placing a racially discriminatory sign outside his house and saw riots outside Winson Green Prison as right and left battled it out with the police sandwiched in the middle.

‘Keep Right On’ tells a love story entwined with football hooliganism and has plenty of surprises along the way. It will be enjoyed by lovers of a good story, football fans, those who seek a glimpse into the underside of the hooligan world, and those fascinated by the history of the 1970’s.

“Some people think football is a matter of life and death. I don’t like that attitude. I can assure them it is much more serious than that” – Bill Shankly.

Available on Amazon as an E Book or in paperback – 11 reviews and 4.8 stars out of a possible 5 stars. https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B06XJV689J/ #Football #Fiction #Hooligans #Birminghamimage

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