The Men in Black: Inside Manchester Uniteds Football Hooligan Firm

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From the late Eighties to the new Millennium, one football gang dominated the streets and terraces. Older, harder and better organised than their foes, they travelled everywhere and feared no-one. After one spectacular victory, a vanquished rival gave them the name that became a byword for soccer violence: The Men In Black.

Manchester United’s hooligan mob had long caused mayhem, but in 1989 their hardcore was the target of a massive undercover police investigation, codenamed Operation Mars. It focused on the most infamous of the firm’s members, including its ‘general’, Tony O’Neill, and led to more than thirty arrests.

But when the trial collapsed, the firm returned to the fray, wiser, more cunning and more ruthless than ever before. They went on to defend their fearsome reputation against the toughest outfits in Britain; the Soul Crew, the Zulu Warriors, the Boro Frontline and the ICF. They were never defeated.

Covering the crucial period 1988 – 2005, The Men In Black recounts these stories and many more, told by those who were there, those who were involved in the hand-to-hand, close quarter battles and notably, the man police called Target Kilo: Tony O’Neill.