‘Keep Right On’

Within the world of warring football clans in the hot summer of 1976, something stirs – an unlikely love between a young couple on opposing sides.1976. Birmingham. Aston Villa and Birmingham City football clubs are both in the First Division. They are old rivals, whose hooligan ‘football firms’ are locked in a vicious struggle for supremacy. Two criminal families, The Murphy’s and the Carter’s, 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? Corrupt cop Rob Docker returns, and this time he wants revenge. In the background, the National Front fight on the streets, racism is on the rise, and it’s the hottest summer in living memory. In the 1970s, the ‘beautiful’ game was tarnished by the scourge of football hooliganism across the length and breadth of the United Kingdom, as rival gangs fought each other for the accolade of being one of the ‘top firms’. Saturday afternoons became the focus for some of those emboldened by alcohol to engage in mindless incidents of disorder and violence, whilst the younger ‘up and comers’ sought to establish their place in the pecking order. At the rotten core of this activity were groups of men who inflicted pain and injury on a routine basis. For the most part they were hard, calculating, organised and brutal in their quest to both maintain ‘territory’ and to take it from others. Status and belonging was everything. This historical crime fiction novel features two such groups of organised hooligans both of whom operated in Birmingham. In the days before ‘Apex’ and the ‘Zulu Warriors’, 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 1975/76 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. 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. Whilst hooligans commit what are routinely so-called ‘mindless acts’, the reality is that they live, breathe, think and feel pain and emotion just like another other ‘normal person’ does. Some of them even fall in love, and this story focuses upon the emotional awakening of a vicious thug, tamed by a pretty girl, as raw emotion clashes with raw violence. ‘Keep Right On’ Is 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. The ‘Made In Birmingham’ Series1) Black Over Bill’s Mother’s2) Pretty Thing3) Keep Right On4) The Touch Of Innocence. Authors’ website http://www.bostinbooks.co.uk. Facebook Page ‘Bostin Books’ #brum #birmingham #KRO #BCFC #AVFC #historical #crime #fiction #suspense #lovestory #football #gangs #hooliganism

The Summer of 1976 (picture from social media)

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