Football with Attitude | Richard Davis’s Images of Football Culture in the early 90s.

By Paul Wright

In 1991 photographer Richard Davis visited football grounds across the North West of England taking snapshots of football fans for a book called Football with Attitude.

The project also took Richard over to Holland where Manchester United fans had made the away trip to Rotterdam to watch their team take on Barcelona in the European Cup Winners’ Cup final.

Written by the late Steve Redhead the book examines the crossover of football, popular music and youth culture. It’s a well written and informative book that examines youth culture and football through an exciting era, when the attitude, music and fashions of the late eighties and early nineties spilled over to the terraces.

Madchester United. Manchester United fans in Amsterdam, 1991. Photo © Richard Davis.

The book also looks at Fanzine culture at clubs and how it was (and still is) a huge influence on supporters.

One of the fanzines is Liverpool’s groundbreaking The End. First published in 1981 The End differed from many other fanzines at the time as it featured articles on topics beyond football. There were articles about music, gig reviews, fashion, trends and politics, what’s in? and what’s out?. It became an essential cultural guide and influenced fans long before the days of football forums and social media. It also directly inspired many other fanzines of the era – including the London based music fanzine Boys Own.

The End co founder and editor Peter Hooton (also The Farm) with author/writer and Farm manager Kevin Sampson, 1991. Photo © Richard Davis.

The below words by the much missed Steve Redhead provide a brief insight into the book and Richard’s accompanying photography.

“Football With Attitude examines the changing contemporary relationships between football, popular music and youth culture – in short, football fandom as pop culture”.

“The photographs from the book provide snapshots of the forever-changing channels of football into music, and music into football. They portray a supporter culture where, increasingly, young football fans are music fans and vice versa: visually they are often indistinguishable”.

“Many of those involved in the music industry (writers, producers, DJ’s and musicians) are obsessive football fans themselves. Moreover, football-related popular music is no longer the lowest of low art, but right at the cutting edge of dancefloor sounds”.

Gallery

Manchester United fans outside the stadium in Rotterdam, 1991. Photo © Richard Davis.
Manchester United fans in Rotterdam, 1991. Photo © Richard Davis.
Manchester United fans in Rotterdam, 1991. Photo © Richard Davis.
Manchester United fans in Rotterdam, 1991. Photo © Richard Davis.
Manchester United fans at Old Trafford, 1991. Photo © Richard Davis.
United We Stand Seller, Old Trafford, 1991. Photo © Richard Davis.
Manchester United fans at Old Trafford, 1991. Photo © Richard Davis.
Everton’s Pat Nevin with Is It Red Seller. Goodison Park, May 1991. Photo © Richard Davis.
Junior Evertonians, Goodison Park, 1991. Photo © Richard Davis.
When Skies Are Grey Seller. Goodison Park, May 1991. Photo © Richard Davis.
Liverpool fans at Anfield, 1991. Photo © Richard Davis.
Young Manchester City fans at Maine Road, 1991. Photo © Richard Davis.
Manchester City fans. Maine Road, 1991. Photo © Richard Davis.
Blue Print Sellers. Maine Road, 1991. Photo © Richard Davis.
Liverpool fans at Maine Road, 1991. Photo © Richard Davis.
A Liverpool fan at Maine Road, 1991. Photo © Richard Davis.
Football with Attitude, 1991.

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