I watched 'The 70s' on BBC last night and just wanted to check I wasn't dreaming or having a stroke.
Did he presenter, Historian Dominic Sandbrook REALLY say that the origin of 80s football hooliganism was because Dads and Grandads stopped going to matches and started visiting Garden Centres and DIY superstores (which sprang up in the late 70s) and left impressionable youths without strong role models, resulting in terrace mayhem?!
Yes he did. Now I'm not usually a stickler for quantitative and qualitative research in Saturday night TV shows, but I would like to know which pub he dreamt that theory up in and how he could back that claim up.
Having attended over 800 (approx) Leeds matches in the 1970s, I saw my fair share of football 'aggro' as it was termed back then. I was almost crushed to death at Leppings Lane Hillsborough in 1972 - us lads were literally carried over our Dads' heads to safety at pitchside, (1972 mark you), regularly saw mass scraps break out in our own Kop end, and witnessed darts thrown onto the pitch during a Leeds Man City game - and no, not vic-toy lawn darts, either.
I was regularly surrounded by Dads and Grandads, but I don't recall a mass exodus in the late 70s of them heading towards Do It All, or Strikes on a saturday afternoon. That's because they were FANS and as any fule kno, putting up a shelf or painting the shed will not take precedence over The Game. That's because SUNDAYS is when you do DIY, plant the borders etc. Saturdays is for the team and in my house that was the law. I get the feeling that he didn't interviewe any football fans.
I'm just casting around here, but maybe the increase of divorces (they TRIPLED between (1970-1980), and the effects of higher unemployment, (2.7M in 1970 and 13.2M in 1982) may have been an influencing factor in leaving male kids with no role model, no money and a lot of anger to burn out once a week? Do you think?
Maybe 'The 1970s' researchers had a bad week, or the wi-fi was down, but that is one of the most juvenile pieces of TV masquerading as factual documentary I've ever seen.
Or perhaps there are generations of Dads and Grandads who can't pass B&Q without tears of regret of what might have been.