"We r a up incoming mob of lads who follow the canaries. East anglias numba 1 yoof firm!!!"
I’m a Norwich City fan and my match day experience is one of the safest in British football. Leading the way with the lowest arrests, in an isolated part of the country so devoid of local rivals that a game against Peterborough feels like a stroll into enemy territory, Norwich City’s badge of honour is more likely to be that of footballing prefect than the compass of Stone Island. OK, in the 70s and 80s there were a bunch of ‘sorts’ who would line the riverside walk down to the station after games as at most grounds at that time. As a child standing in the terraces, I remember the coins, pool balls and fans rushing outside. Cars were pushed into the Wensum. Recent times however, have been marked by seats, the middle classes and goal celebration music. Rival fans can drink where they like with impunity, alongside the fans that Brian Clough once described as ‘gentle’.
Then a tweet, emitted from an overcrowded train on its way to Peterborough in the FA Cup, sent shockwaves through the genteel folk of the flatlands. A message, loud and clear, had been passed onto the bad boys of Millwall, Man Utd and Leeds. There was a new outfit in town. Gentlemen: The Norwich Chaos Crew. A collection of more deranged souls it’s hard to imagine, outside of the burning fires of Hades. A group of darkened hearts intent on one single goal: chaos. “@justinbieber can we have a rt m8? 10 norwich yoof on route 2 posh #awaydays”.
The tweets from this nefarious bunch, their numbers easily into double figures, were cocksure. The lads, who are currently engaged in GCSE coursework, were seeing off all comers with all the hilarious chutzpah of a chang-ed up chimp. Within three weeks the Twitter account had racked up over 9,000 followers as the reputation of these nutters spread like a pissed crotch through the footballing community. When Newcastle came to Carrow Road recently you could hear their – almost fearful – taunting of football’s most sinister scumbags: “Where’s your famous Chaos Crew?”
OK… it’s a spoof. At least fans of the account are convinced of its knowing nonsense. Why? Well, for one there has been no actual sightings of this rabble or reports of anything remotely ‘chaotic’ at a Norwich game, although the trains to Peterborough were heavily overcrowded. Two, the word play on show is priceless. Treading a fine swagger between pure idiocy and pastiche, there are some who still not entirely convinced either way.
It’s believable and that its strength as seen in the interplay between the Chaos Crew and the presumably ‘real’ casuals who are trying to gauge their matchday credentials. “@SimmoLUFC_ cheers fella. Iv always respected leeds u got a decent little mob” Then Portsmouth faces were dispatched. “Hav 2 laugh at the little cyber warriors muggin me off by email. Do pompey even have a firm? Embarrasing” That exchange received 29 retweets.
The ‘calling card’ with ‘Congratulations’ written in a jaunty TFI-style font has a chilling message running along the bottom: “Please follow us on Twitter!!!” There’s a great photo in their gallery of some classic hooligan theatre – Football Factory and Green Street – on a book shelf, but look behind them and to the left and you will spot Pretty Woman. Of the 31 people they follow, one is Joey Essex. “@JoeyEssex_ lovin the new barnet fella!”
The patter is Cockney – apparently ‘George’, the general of this mob, has a mother from Uxbridge – and this in a way helps it to segue into hooligan-ese much smoother than the already comical Norfolk. It’s Danny Dyer meets Mike Skinner on a night bus.
Pure insanity or scripted humour, it’s a mystery you don’t really want solved. So log on and enjoy, unless you’re Old Bill.
@MileyCyrus alrite gorgeous how about a rt for my mate Henry Grantham-Squires whos 15 2day? He reckons your fit lol
Follow the Chaos Crew on Twitter @CHAOSCREW_NCFC.