This film is part of Free

Elland Road Football Control

Back to the bad old days of skinners, as worn by these Man. United troublemakers, being escorted by police dogs along that perilous walk from Elland Road to Leeds railway station.

Non-Fiction 1976 23 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for Yorkshire Film Archive


A police cameraman films the long march of Manchester United supporters, baggy trousers and all, to and from British Rail Football Specials to Elland Road, past acres of derelict land providing a plentiful supply of bricks for ammunition. Another routine Saturday in 1976 as the police, out in force, attempt to keep apart the two sets of notorious supporters, inside and outside the ground, while on the field Sammy McIlroy demonstrates the perfect dive.

By 1976 the operations of policing the football matches at Leeds United must have been pretty routine, but doubtless there were still lessons to be learnt and hooligans to be identified, and hence this film by West Yorkshire Police. The ever present bootboys had been plaguing football matches since the late 1960s, and acts of violence on match days were commonplace. Not least by the bovver boys of Manchester United, who prompted much of the segregated fencing at grounds; and those of Leeds United, who had caused Leeds to be banned from Europe by their behaviour at the European Cup final in Paris the previous year.