If you’re looking to watch a great football movie, there are dozens of lists of the best football films of all time, so here at Football Fairground, so we thought we would go in a different direction. That’s why we put together this list of the top 20 football hooligan films of all time. Prepare to watch some violent, emotional and football passion scenes!
All of these football hooligan films contain the typical script themes, monster in the house, the quest, redemption, revenge, underdog, rivalry, temptation, sacrifice and so on. If you like good storytelling, these movies deliver the goods whether you’re into football, hooliganism or just enjoy a great movie!
- Best football hooligan films
- 1. Red Army Hooligans
- 2. The Firm, featuring Gary Oldman
- 3. I.D. (1995) featuring Philip Davis
- 4. The Hooligan Factory (2014)
- 5. The Football Factory (2004) featuring Nick Love
- 6. Rise Of The Footsoldier (2007) featuring Julian Gilbey
- 7. Cass (2008) Jon S. Baird
- 8. Hooligan Legacy
- 9. Awaydays (2009) Pat Holden
- 10. The Firm (2009) Nick Love
- 11. The Rise & Fall of a White Collar Hooligan (2012) Paul Tanter
- 12. Green Street Hooligans (2005), Lexi Alexander
- 13. Top Dog (2014) by Martin Kemp
- 14. Chinatown London (2018)
- 15. The Hooligan Wars (2012)
- 16. Dangerous Mind of a Hooligan (2014)
- 17. I Am Hooligan (2016)
- 18. Hooligan Escape: The Russian Job (2018)
- 19. White Collar Hooligan 3: Revenge in Rio (2014)
- 20. St George’s Day (2012)
Best football hooligan films
Let’s give you a bit of glimpse of each of these movies, so you can quickly decide whether this is the one to watch.
1. Red Army Hooligans
Red Army Hooligans is a recent film released in 2018. It follows an English football hooligan called Tony who led a London firm. He has a fight with a Russian Ultra, suffers brain damage and has to miss the World Cup of 2018.
The story follows Tony and focuses on the aftermath of a clash rather than the violence itself and his firm as they set up a five-a-side tournament instead of attending the World Cup. It’s a refreshing take on the genre and one well worth watching.
IMDB Rating: 2.4/10
2. The Firm, featuring Gary Oldman
The Firm has to be one of the most famous football hooligan films ever. Not only is Gary Oldman at his screen dominating best but the story isn’t bad either. It follows a West Ham United football firm during the 1970s and 1980s and its leader, Bex. Bex has a family and a firm and a day job as an estate agent.
Bex wants to form a national football firm to take on other international firms but the other gangs don’t want him leading it. Naturally, they arrange a fight and some very well-choreographed fight scenes ensue before the dramatic finale. It is an excellent film in its own right as well as a top class football hooligan film.
IMDB Rating: 7.3/10
3. I.D. (1995) featuring Philip Davis
ID is a superb movie as well as an excellent story about English football hooligans. It follows a four-man secret police squad who go undercover within a hooligan firm in South London called The Dogs in order to identify The Generals that lead it. The firm is responsible for a large portion of violent crime as well as hooliganism in support of their team, Shadwell Town FC.
The main character, John, begins to enjoy his undercover life a little too much and begins displaying darker tendencies. Rather than trying to find The Generals, John likes his rumbles a little too much.
IMDB Rating: 7.4/10
4. The Hooligan Factory (2014)
The Hooligan Factory is a spoof film that links with The Firm to create its story. Danny is a dropout, expelled from school and desperate to live up to his estranged father Danny Senior, who is currently in prison. Dex, another character is in prison for force-feeding a judge his own wig and wants to take on rival gang leader Yeti.
Dex gets released from prison, crosses paths with Danny, the two link up and go on a journey to rebuild former glories. This film isn’t gritty like some of these other football hooligan films but it has all the ingredients necessary to make it an entertaining watch.
IMDB Rating: 4.9/10
5. The Football Factory (2004) featuring Nick Love
The Football Factory is a classic football hooligan film starring Danny Dyer as Tommy, a bored Londoner who is hooked on the excitement of drink, fighting and womanising. His family wants him out but he can’t leave the life behind and is addicted to the sense of belonging he feels when part of the firm.
While the subject matter may be football and football hooliganism, it is more about man’s quest to belong, to find his tribe and about the desire to be the best at what they do. A solid film with a great script and good cast.
IMDB Rating: 6.9/10
6. Rise Of The Footsoldier (2007) featuring Julian Gilbey
Rise Of The Footsoldier is less about the human journey or search for a tribe and more about the action. It follows Carlton Leach, a member of West Ham’s Inter City Firm and general criminal and troublemaker on his journey from football thug to a criminal with a reputation.
The film follows Leach over 30 years as he works his way up the hooligan hierarchy and into a criminal gang. The final act sees a reinterpretation of the real-life Essex Boys Range Rover murders in Rettenden, Essex.
IMDB Rating: 6.9/10
7. Cass (2008) Jon S. Baird
Cass has a dual aspect, the first follows the story of being an immigrant in Britain in the 1970s while the second follows a member of the notorious Inter City Firm of football hooligans. It’s based on the true story of Cass Pennant and adapted from his biography.
Cass is a Jamaican orphan adopted by a white couple in London and follows his journey through an intolerant Britain through being a member of a football firm to eventually running it. This film is about more than the fighting. It’s about Cass and what he goes through during his time. The story is well told and paints a relatively accurate picture of Britain at the time.
IMDB Rating: 6.5/10
8. Hooligan Legacy
Hooligan Legacy is a little different. While still a football hooligan film, it’s also about revenge and general criminality. The story follows four robbers from rival firms who come together to pull off a heist at a football stadium. One gang member, the psychotic Ronnie is caught and does ten years for his part in the robbery.
When Ronnie is released he is convinced that one of the others grassed him up and wants revenge. The film follows Ronnie as he gets revenge on the three gang members and their families. This is an indie film but really doesn’t feel like it. While the football hooligan link is tenuous, it’s a great revenge film that is still worth watching.
IMDB Rating: 3.4/10
9. Awaydays (2009) Pat Holden
Awaydays is superb. The soundtrack, the cinematography, the characters and the storytelling are all first class. The film follows Carty in the now familiar journey to acceptance by The Pack, a bunch of football casuals that follow Tranmere Rovers in the Wirral during the early 1980s.
Carty is 19 and bored and when he meets Elvis everything changes. Elvis is a football casual in The Pack and introduces Carty to football, fighting and all that goes with it. The Pack have a unique style and stand out from the usual skinhead and jeans brigade. This film stands out too with its excellent cast and story.
IMDB Rating: 5.8/10
10. The Firm (2009) Nick Love
This version of The Firm is loosely based on Gary Oldman’s version but instead of following Bex, we follow Dom. Dom is a burgeoning football casual who wants to be top dog. Taken under Bex’s wing and brought into his firm of football hooligans, the film follows Dom as he is integrated into the world of football violence, fighting and gangs.
While predominantly about hooligans, this is another football film about the heroes’ journey. Dom begins by wanting to be a part of something bigger and better but the more he sees of the world of violence and football casuals, the more he realises this world isn’t for him.
IMDB Rating: 5.8/10
11. The Rise & Fall of a White Collar Hooligan (2012) Paul Tanter
The Rise & Fall of a White Collar Hooligan is a gritty, low budget football film with a twist. Rather than the journey through football casuals to leading a firm, the main protagonist Mike is seduced by crime first and football hooliganism second. Bored and unemployed, he is introduced to credit card cloning and soon has more money than he can spend.
The inevitable champagne, drugs and girls story follows while tolerant girlfriend remains largely ignored. Mike is introduced into football violence as a casual, given a gun, taken to France and put in the heart of the underworld. He quickly realises he is seriously out of his depth.
IMDB Rating: 5.2/10
12. Green Street Hooligans (2005), Lexi Alexander
Green Street Hooligans is a football hooligan film with a twist and it’s a useful one. The film follows an American student Matt, played by Elijah Wood who is wrongly expelled from Harvard. Somehow he meets football casual Pete Dunham who is a member of the Green Street Elite firm who follow West Ham.
The story follows Matt as he becomes involved in the firm and the world they want to dominate. Matt quickly realises there are costs to his new life and battles to balance the excitement of this world with those costs. If you ignore Charlie Hunnam’s appalling accent and Elijah’s attempt to act hard, this is a good film about football hooliganism!
IMDB Rating: 7.5/10
13. Top Dog (2014) by Martin Kemp
Top Dog is Martin Kemp’s directorial debut. He based this film on the book by Dougie Brimson who wrote Green Street. It follows Billy Evans, leader of a football firm the Acton Casuals and family man. The journey begins with just football violence but soon escalates into much more when they clash with a rival firm.
That firm is bigger, better and more hardcore than Billy imagined and he soon finds himself way out of his depth. Well shot with believable characters, this is one of the best football hooligan films of recent times.
IMDB Rating: 5.1/10
14. Chinatown London (2018)
Chinatown London is a typical redemption film with a good script and decent characters. The film follows Sean Brady, part of the London underworld who is involved in football hooliganism as well as general crime. He meets Tommy Chen and learns martial arts to help his crew. After a spell in prison, Sean decided enough is enough and leaves the gang behind.
He meets Claire and begins to build a new life outside of crime but Tommy Chen still wants him in the gang. The story revolves around Sean trying to avoid going back and Chen stopping at nothing to draw him back in.
IMDB Rating: 8.1/10
15. The Hooligan Wars (2012)
The Hooligan Wars takes a different twist than the usual football film. It follows an aspiring footballer Andy who is injured in a bar fight and can no longer play. Bored, unemployed and angry, he buys an ice cream van and tries to make an honest living. Finding himself up against Polish gangs selling drugs from their own ice cream trucks, Andy needs protection.
Enter a firm of football hooligans who offer to induct him into their world while protecting him from the Polish. Andy’s new friends also want to sell drugs from his van so he turns informant. A gritty film about more than just scowling and throwing punches.
IMDB Rating: 4/10
16. Dangerous Mind of a Hooligan (2014)
Dangerous Mind of a Hooligan is another movie with just a tenuous link to football hooligans but is an entertaining film nonetheless. It’s more about a bank heist than football but involves a criminal mastermind who recruits four hooligans who don’t know each other to pull off a bank robbery.
The film is well done with a good cast, flowing script and good cinematography. The story is about paranoia and violence as the entire process unravels.
IMDB Rating: 3.3/10
17. I Am Hooligan (2016)
I Am Hooligan follows Justin, a kid from an underprivileged estate in London who sees no way out of his life. Until he meets a firm of football hooligans who give him meaning and membership. It’s a journey movie that follows Justin as he tries to impress his new firm and try to control his enjoyment of his new life.
The same team that brought us Essex Boys: Law of Survival and Hooligans at War gives us I Am Hooligan and it is better than those three movies put together in terms of quality, story and experience.
IMDB Rating: 2.6/10
18. Hooligan Escape: The Russian Job (2018)
Hooligan Escape: The Russian Job is better than it’s title might suggest. It begins in the European Cup in 2016 where a Russian fan is killed in violence. Fast forward to the World Cup in Russia in 2018 and the same group find themselves in a Russian jail.
After being recognised as being involved with the earlier death, the gang find themselves in a derelict warehouse fighting to survive. It’s a neat take on the usual football hooligan theme and includes some good set pieces.
IMDB Rating: 3.4/10
19. White Collar Hooligan 3: Revenge in Rio (2014)
White Collar Hooligan 3: Revenge in Rio is contentious to say the least. Some reviewers slated it and some liked it. I was one of the latter. It’s a typical revenge movie following Eddie and Mike who are trying to revenge themselves on the killer of Mike’s girlfriend. When Mike is killed too, it’s up to Eddie to finish what they started.
Eddie meets Damien, Mike’s step-brother and together they plot their revenge at the World Cup in Rio. Teaming up with a hooker called Yasmin, the trio take on the killer and his firm.
IMDB Rating: 4.4/10
20. St George’s Day (2012)
St George’s Day is another football hooligan film that combines criminals with firms but does it in style. Genuine cockney actors make a real difference to the quality of the characters and a decent script and directing help this film stand out for all the right reasons.
The film follows a pair of London gangsters Micky and Ray who lost coke owned by the Russian mafia. They have to raise money to pay them off so decide to do it in Berlin during an England match on St George’s Day. With a stellar cast and good storytelling, this has less violence but more substance than most football films.
IMDB Rating: 5.1/10