When John and Martin are in Tyneburn market, they are confronted by a group of hooligans from the opposing firm. They charge the much larger group, and the film then immediately cuts to the police entering the market and scattering the combatants. By this stage, John is covered in blood and fears he has been stabbed, however, when he and Martin examine him, they discover it is not his blood. Later, when John is in bed with Lynda (Saskia Reeves), he is talking about the incident, and says he was shocked when he discovered he wasn't even scratched, to which she responds "well some poor sod was". Later in the film then, John discusses what happened with his three undercover partners; Trevor (Richard Graham), Eddie (Perry Fenwick) and Charlie (Philip Glenister);
Eddie: "There were video cameras at Tyneburn market."John: "Who's seen 'em?"Eddie: "Trev drove up on Sunday night, flashed a false warrant, greased a few palms."John: "Who's seen 'em?"Eddie: "Some little runt, didnt know what he was looking at."Charlie: "And us."John: "Give."Charlie: "Trashed it."John: "No. Not without me seeing it first. No, you wouldnt."Charlie: "You can live without it"John: "I can't remember nuthin', I swear"
Additionally, towards the end of the film, when John is listening to the radio in his thrashed house, he hears that Shadwell have been promoted, and the commentator says; "Everyone at the club of course stunned by that horrific fatal stabbing at Tyneburn."Obviously, what happened was that John stabbed and killed a member of the opposing firm, hence his shirt being covered in blood.
No. Shadwell is a real place in inner city London, located in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets in the east of the city, but it has no football team. Similarly, The Kennel (Shadwell's home ground) is fictitious; most of the interior shots of The Kennel were shot at Rotherham United's ground, Millmoor. The few exterior scenes were shot at Leyton Orient's ground, Brisbane Road.Shadwell F.C. seems to be loosely based on Millwall, a southeast London team, and/or West Ham United, an east London team. Both teams had notorious crews during the 80s and early 90s; respectively, the F-Troop (later known as the Millwall Bushwackers), and the Inter City Firm (ICF).The main plot of the film may be loosely based on Operation Full-Time, an undercover London Metropolitan Police operation whose express purpose was to identify and convict the leaders of the ICF, although, obviously, the film departs greatly from the reality in the particulars of its narrative.Operation Full-Time was one of a serious of police operations during the mid-late 80s, which attempted to bring an end to organised football hooliganism. In the wake of the Heysel Stadium Disaster in 1985, and the negative impact it had on British football and British culture in general, Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher gave the police unprecedented freedom in an attempt to infiltrate and bring down the biggest firms in the country, resulting in a huge number of operations targeting football hooliganism, and a massive increase in arrests related to football hooliganism.In March 1986, the initial operation (Operation Own Goal), targeted the Chelsea Headhunters. Ever since Heysel, there had been rumours that members of the Headhunters were present in the stadium, and had been involved in the violence, with some reports claiming that it was actually the Headhunters who initiated the affray. The Headhunters also had a reputation for extreme racism, and had connections with both the National Front and Combat 18. As such, the police thought they represented a good place to begin the campaign, as arresting members of a racist firm would look good in the eyes of the media.The express aim of Own Goal was to identify and convict the Godfathers who organised but did not partake in the violence; the police weren't especially interested in the footsoldiers, they wanted the leaders. Seven arrests took place, with each one resulting in a conviction. However, in 1989, all seven men were released after the Court of Appeal ruled that some of the police evidence had been tampered with by persons unknown prior to the initial trial.In January 1987, Operation Red Card targeted the Birmingham Zulus, resulting in 67 arrests, with 49 being charged and nineteen jailed for up to thirty months each.Operation Full-Time followed a few days after Red Card. Full-Time was unique insofar as unlike Own Goal and Red Card, it involved officers working undercover, posing as hooligans over a five month period. Targeting the ICF, Full-Time resulted in twenty-six arrests, with nineteen being charged. However, all nineteen were released when the prosecution failed to provide evidence in court.Other operations around the same time included Operation Wild Boar (April, 1987), which targeted the Leeds Service Crew; Operation Back Yard (April, 1987), which again targeted the ICF; Operation White Horse (April, 1987), which targeted Crystal Palace's Dirty 30; Operation Spoonbill (March, 1988), which targeted the Luton Town MIGS; Operation Growth (March 1988), which targeted Wolverhampton Wanderers' Subway Army; Operation Dirty Den (April, 1988) which targeted the F-Troop; Operation Omega (April, 1988), which targeted Manchester City's Guv'nors; and Operation Gamma (December, 1989), which targeted Bolton Town's Cuckoo Boys.