Screen Two: Season 5, Episode 8

The Firm (26 Feb. 1989)

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This is the story of rival "Firms" of football supporters, and how one man has a wish to team them up for the European Championships of 1988. However, when this is discussed, the opposing ... See full summary »



(as Al Hunter)
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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Andrew Wilde ...
Charles Lawson ...
William Vanderpuye ...
Jay Simpson ...
Terry Sue-Patt ...
Yusef (as Terry Sue Patt)
Nicholas Hewetson ...
Steve McFadden ...
Steve Sweeney ...
Hepburn Graham ...


This is the story of rival "Firms" of football supporters, and how one man has a wish to team them up for the European Championships of 1988. However, when this is discussed, the opposing leaders are not happy, as they believe this is a challenge to their authority. This Film shows how football violence has progressed from pure violence to a form of organized crime, to the extent that all the leaders know each others home phone / mobile phone numbers. Written by Darren Alexander <>

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Release Date:

26 February 1989 (UK)  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The crew meet opposite King's Cross station in London before they travel to Birmingham. Euston station is the usual station for that destination. King's Cross serves the north east of England. See more »


Bex Bissell: [shouts] I need the buzz!
See more »


Remade as The Firm (2009) See more »


Hornchurch Boys
sung to the tune of "Nick Nack Paddy Whack"
See more »

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User Reviews

A fascinating document, but pretty much 'of its time'...
21 May 2004 | by (Oldham, Gtr Manchester, England.) – See all my reviews

... because the culture of 'hooliganism' has moved on since this was made. It certainly hasn't gone away, but the organisation of such things is tighter these days with the aid of technology like the Internet. Hopefully these developments will be addressed in upcoming fare like "The Football Factory".

So the 'values and ideals' shown in this film are different because it's a bygone age. Less materialism and more violence exists EVERYWHERE these days, so showing it creeping into suburbia isn't necessarily as shocking now as perhaps it was when viewed at the time. There are some nice performances here though from a wealth of British acting talent who went on to bigger things, and Oldman keeps you watching throughout as only he can; holding the screen with his intense passion. Disappointingly, though, the scenes which are most effective are often undercut by what follows, with the pace never quite finding itself even at a short 67mins. The ending can similarly be seen as a damp squib, but the one or two powerful moments in getting there make this a worthwhile experience for fans of some of the actors.

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