Unjustly expelled from Harvard when a stash of cocaine is found in his possession, Matt moves to London to live with his sister and her husband Steve. He is quickly introduced to Steve's chirpy, cock-sure younger brother Pete. Initially, Pete is reluctant to get acquainted with Matt and allow him to tread around the capital city with him because he may be seen by others as an 'outsider', but after a heavy drinking session with him and his mates he quickly changes his opinion of him. On the way back from a football match, Matt is viciously accosted by a gang of Birmingham City thugs, until Pete and his friends step in and save him. It is from here that Matt learns the truth about Pete and his friends- they are football hooligans, operating the GSE (Green Street Elite) 'firm.' Initially afraid of the violence, Matt soon ends up becoming as desensitized to it as his new found friends - but as events roll on, suspicion, shocking revelations and unsettled scores combine to a devastating ...Written by
Down With Sickness
During the fight scene in the tube station at the start of the film See more »
A Comment from a life long Hammer
It has been interesting reading the comments here. It might be helpful to some, particularly our American and Canadian cousins, to have a little background information on the West Ham following over the years.
For some years (approx. 1967 - 1985) and before I realised the error of my ways and retired I was an active member of the West Ham mob, which was made up of several different firms from around the East End and parts of Essex. The main ones being the Mile End ('67 to around '74) and the TBF ('70's & '80's). The ICF got going around 1978 and carried through to the '90's. It was more of an umbrella name given to the combined firms who all came together for the away games. The West Ham mob consisted of between 300 to 400 individuals. The ranks would sometimes be swelled by several hundred regular supporters, so called scarfers (non violent). Often, particularly mid week matches up north, there could be significantly less. It would not be unusual to find oneself on a freezing cold terrace for a night game mid winter only 30-40 handed and outnumbered by a hostile opposition 20-1. It made for some hair raising experiences, particularly trying to navigate back to the railway station after the game through some pretty hostile unfamiliar back streets. West Ham always had a reputation for sticking together and never leaving anyone behind. There were some fearless individuals who held the line no matter the odds and the expectation was that everyone would stand with them. You earned respect by not bottling out, even if you were not much of a scrapper and had legs like jelly.
Our traditional rivals have always been Millwall. Correctly depicted in the film. This rivalry goes back at least to the 1920's and is steeped in the history of the London Docklands. West Ham also have a particular aversion to Manchester United and Chelsea for differing reasons.
Any West Ham supporter who was there will tell you that the most violent clash ever at a football match involving the club, and there have been many over the years, was actually a friendly. A mid week testimonial game against Millwall at the old Den (Millwall's old stadium) in 1972. Fortunately the two clubs play in different leagues and therefore do not play each other much, no doubt to the great relief of the Metropolitan Police.
Now to the film, I was expecting I would not enjoy Green Street as I had been disappointed by all the other Hooli films that had gone before. However, despite a questionable story line and some glaring inaccuracies, including the abysmal accent of the lead character played by Charlie Hunnam, I quite liked it. One has to make allowances for the fact that this was fictional and not a documentary. I thought the acting was generally pretty good and the camera work was of a high standard.
I am afraid that the Elijah Wood character would not have made it into our firm in my day. He would have been politely pointed in the direction of the scarfers and told to tag along with them, not because he was an American, if he genuinely supported West Ham this would have been good enough for us, no it would have been because he would have been considered a liability and we would have had to assign someone to keep an eye on him.
Finally in the real world the GSE would never have been the top firm down at Upton Park. The age range was too narrow and physically they were too light weight compared to some of the real life characters who graced the West Side, the South Bank and the Chicken Run.
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