This film is part of Free

Elland Road 1979

Everyone knows their place in this now familiar weekly football ritual of rowdy working class youth arriving at Leeds, separated from their counterparts by police and fences.

Non-Fiction 1979 27 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for Yorkshire Film Archive


Well before so-called Islamic terrorists stretched police resources, tens of thousands of police were being engaged in that very home-grown ritual of the battle of the football bovver boys every Saturday. A decade on from its first stirrings, witness just how much of a weekly custom this has become for these boisterous working class youth, and many men, as they are escorted to Elland Road, where Leeds United, with the artful Tony Currie, take on Ipswich Town in 1979.

This is one of a series of films that were shot by West Yorkshire Police showing the control of football supporters at Leeds United, and of anti-fascist demonstrations, in the 1970s. This was presumably in order to guide their operations, and possibly for identification purposes. It was the era of the football train special. Fortunately the route from Elland Road to the railway station in the 1970s avoided built up areas; unfortunately it passed derelict areas littered with bricks. Both the numbers involved in violence, and its visibility, sharply declined during the following decade, and now there is the deterrent of the much higher cost of going to matches.