Growing up in the 80s/90s on the outskirts of Portsmouth football was everything. We played it so much that myself and some of my mates actually started to develop knee issues! As a kid the 6.57 crew were kind of legends. We all loved Pompey and there was always boasts and stories every now and again of someone’s older brother or cousin getting in to trouble for 6.57 related activity. Even now as an adult (?) when I talk to my mates from Leigh Park or Havant usually something 6.57 related comes up as some kind of brag, so there’s still something in the air about them!
When I first ventured out of Portsmouth, visiting places like Reading and Norfolk, when innocent shop keepers asked where I was from, and I said Pompey, quite often they came back with a retort like “Thats quite a rough area isn’t it?”. I never really understood why until I read this book!
Written by Cass Pennant, from West Ham’s ICF, and Rob Silvester from the 6.57 the book covers about 20 years of 6.57 history, as well as loads of information about Portsmouth that I never knew. Featuring interviews and recollections with lots of members of the 6.57 who were there at the time, there are dozens of anecdotes about away trips and fights with other firms as well as skirmishes with the police and courts and even details of a few prison sentences.
The book doesn’t just cover the 6.57’s hooligan antics, it also documents their attempt to get the late Docker Hughes to stand as a 6.57 candidate for Portsmouth South in the 1987 General Election with one of their policies being duty free booze on the Gosport ferry.
If you’re interested in Portsmouth or English football hooliganism this book will be an entertaining read. It does a great job of describing what the scene must have been like back then with a good injection of humour and with out glorifying the violence. It was certainly an eye opener to a lot of things going on up the road that I had no idea about when I was growing up there!