Faces Behind Football’s Dark Days: Photos Capture The One-Time Hooligans Of The Beautiful Game
There was a time when English football witnessed a dark age, not due to the failure of their national side in major tournaments nor due to any lack of talent in their club leagues. This dark age was mainly about disruptive crowd behaviour in any league games.
Simon Harsent, travelled the length and breadth of England to document this age of British sporting history, Hooliganism.
Harsent captures defiant men, some with their shaven head, some with tattooed arms, the men who ruled and terrorised the terraces of English football.
In a feature by the Daily Mail, Harsent said his work is neither glorifying nor condemning these men, rather it is about people who have turned away from their former lives. He said that many have done things which they now regret and the portrait of these men is simply to document them.
‘Most of my portrait work is quite dark, especially my portraits of men. It really is just the way I shoot. I did want these to be striking portraits with an edge of intensity to them and as I always do when I shoot a portrait I do what feels natural on the day. These guys are strong and imposing people, to photograph them any other way would seem strange for me.’