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What Do You Know About The Perry Boys?

perry boys book What Do You Know About The Perry Boys?
Regarding the EPL Talk Podcast, one of the many enjoyable benefits of interviewing some of the top (and most interesting) people on the topic of football is that I’m often learning more about the sport (and its impact on people) at the same time that you are too.

So whether it’s previous interviews with Chuck Culpepper about Portsmouth FC, professor Tom Cannon about the financial side of the Premier League, refereeing with Jeff Winter or Graham Poll — or a host of other fascinating topics and/or guests, I enjoy the episodes as much as I hope you do too. And there are now over 90 episodes in existence with some of the biggest names in soccer (all available via archive).

Another fascinating topic the EPL Talk Podcast explored in this week’s episode is the true story of soccer hooligans from Manchester United named The Perry Boys who explored the world of violence and fashion in the early 80s.

To be honest, I had no recollection of the Perry Boys movement before hearing about the book. Attending matches in the UK in the early 80s as a teenager, I vividly remember the different gangs dressed as punks and mods, but I don’t recall the hairstyles and fashion code of the Perry Boys ever spreading as far as South Wales, where I grew up.

The fashion aspect of the Perry Boys is extremely enlightening to me. Stan Smith Adidas sneakers/trainers, wedge haircuts, Fred Perry polo shirts and Lee jeans. And the music that fueled the movement which was made up largely of David Bowie (especially the influential “Low” album) and Roxy Music.

During the interview with Ian Hough, author of Perry Boys, all of the above topics and more are uncovered as well as comparisons between the United States and United Kingdom (Hough emigrated from Manchester to the United States many years ago). One of the interesting observations by Hough during the interview (which unfortunately got cut out of the final podcast version because the episode ran out of time) was his belief, which I share, that most American men don’t discuss fashion with one another. In the UK, the topic of fashion and what clothes and accessories men admire comes up quite often. In America, it seems, only women can talk about fashion.

If you haven’t had a chance to listen to the interview with Ian Hough, I encourage you to listen to it. Other than hooliganism and fashion, Hough also discusses topics such as his experiences at Hillsborough a few weeks before the tragedy happened, and the differences between attending a match in the Premier League these days compared to a First Division match 20 years ago.

Learn more about The Perry Boys and Ian Hough via his blog at

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About Christopher Harris

Founder and publisher of World Soccer Talk, Christopher Harris is the managing editor of the site. He has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Guardian and several other publications. Plus he has made appearances on NPR, BBC World, CBC, BBC Five Live, talkSPORT and beIN SPORT. Harris, who has lived in Florida since 1984, has supported Swansea City since 1979. He's also an expert on soccer in South Florida, and got engaged during half-time of a MLS game. Harris launched EPL Talk in 2005, which was rebranded as World Soccer Talk in 2013.
View all posts by Christopher Harris →

3 Responses to What Do You Know About The Perry Boys?

  1. TestSEO says:

    they are something for them

  2. leigh burke says:

    perrys were never a man u thing, it was a manc fashion, regardless whether u were blue or red, in fact being a blue and being part of this i can honestly say that most perry lads i knew were man city fans, scousers also adopted this look, many will argue they started it, it was a top time, if you feel the need to savour what this was all about then get a copy of away days , this not only typifies the look but also the music we were into, ive also recently watched the 2009 version of the firm here this dress style is also shown, dont remember cockneys dressing that way to be honest and the intro to the film is get down on it by kool and the gang, what the fuck is that all about??.. anyway, happy days!!!

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