thousand men and boys were crushed together in the terraces. They had a
blinding drive to conform and a need to belong (New Internationalist, 1985).
The scene is described as a sea of bodies swarming together in a giant
wave. The "Shankly Gates",
was another illustrious landmark. Upon entering the gates, the massive
crowd was unified in sportsmanship at the KOP. Crowd and player relationships
were inseparable, and the scenes were unforgettable. The fans were wild
with joy as they professed their love for the players; who gained great
esteem and status from the crowd. At one with each other, connecting through
emotions, physical intimacy and psychological arousal, making it difficult
to concentrate on individuality. Shankly once said "To Tommy Smith after
he'd turned up for training with a bandaged knee: Take that poof bandage
off, and what do you mean, YOUR knee, it's LIVERPOOL'S knee" (Shankly Quotes).
This phenomenon became known as
the "terrace culture", and as any other subculture, possessing unique characteristics
belonging to them (New Internationalist, 1985). Creative in their distinctive
identification, they condone displays of unusual behavior, values and acceptable
norms (e.g., urinating in the stands) (Alcock et al., 2001). "Football
Hooliganism" is an important example of terrace culture; which occurs in
every country where the game is played. The experience appears to be a
symptom and functional part of the passion fans feel for their club (English
Premier Football League, 2001). Rituals include drinking, singing, chanting,
and fighting. The fans had a strong desire to win, and at all costs. The
game took on a gladiator appeal as noted by Shankly's "life and death"
comment. In Europe, the British fans gained a reputation as suffering from
the "English Disease" (McCallum & O'Brien, 1998). A stigma made popular
in England, subsequent to media over representation/sensationalization
of violence at football games (Marsh et al., 1996).
The group examined Liverpool's history
in the 1960's, we discovered a city suffering huge economic depravation
through the death of industry (English Premier Football League, 2001).
This research led us to the unique characteristics of football hooliganism.
As predicted, the literature on violent behavior offered numerous sociological
and psychological theories related to aggression, more specifically related
to hostile spectator aggression and crowd collective behavior. Narrowing
our research focus to Liverpool Football Aggression in the 1960's, we explored
social issues and criminal behavior related to football. Is football hooliganism
a psychopathology (e.g., "English Disease") or sport (Hostile-Spectator
Aggression)? Either way, it was a consuming passion, which was experienced
first hand by most males in Liverpool. The conclusion will attempt to answer
the question put forth, with an analysis and suggestion for further research
on the topic.
Part 2: Liverpool in the 1960's