Film ID:
YFA 4497



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This film is a comprehensive documentation of the police operations in Leeds on significant football match days featuring Leeds United football club in 1979. The film chronicles the strategies employed by police as they escort supporters to and from Elland Road Stadium, and the on-going enforcement inside the stadium. There are also brief snippets from the football match between Leeds United and Ipswich Town on 7th April.

The film opens in a police station; constables stand in an orderly manor being addressed by a senior officers, and the filmmaker also gets close ups of some of the officers in the front row. There are then shots of the car park, where a row of grey police vans are parked. The exterior of the police station is then shown with 'West Yorkshire Metropolitan Police' on a wall. Another wall has a plaque that reads 'West Yorkshire Police Holdbeck Headquarters'.

The next sequence opens on a street outside Elland Road football ground; fans crowd the pavements and officers stand around watching. Fans walk down the street wearing football scarves, one skinhead apparently wearing a West ham scarf, and several people make faces at the camera. A long line of police vans pull up on the street, and more views show officers trying to keep order amongst the crowd.

Inside Elland Road stadium a fan is physically removed by two officers, who lead him round the edge of the pitch. The coach carrying the players of Leeds United, is escorted by police motorcycles through the crowds, with players looking out the window.  The next shot shows fans gathered on a street outside 'Sheila's cafe', and there are various policemen on horseback moving between the ranks. The final passage in this sequence shows fans walking around outside the stadium being watched and directed by police.

The next sequence contains aerial views of Leeds; initially starting from the train station, the camera progresses across the city, following the path of the M1 motorway before homing in on Elland Road stadium, which is presently empty.

In a police station many officers have gathered in rows of wooden chairs. The constables take down notes in small writing pads as senior officers at the front give out instructions. Several policemen then walk down some concrete steps to a market area, where a police van drives away. There is then a shot of a brick wall that has a plaque which reads 'West Yorkshire Metropolitan police Millgarth headquarters'. Returning inside the police headquarters, officers have formed a queue by a canteen, where dinner ladies dish out the meals. The officers then sit at numerous tables, talking.

A male and female police officers patrol the beat on a street next to a shopping centre. They are shown in further shots walking down streets in Leeds; giving directions and having some banter with the football supporters.

Two close ups of signs are then shown and both read 'Leeds'. There are then views of platforms in Leeds station, and a shot of a clock that shows the time at '13:21'. A train pulls into the station and fans spill out, rushing down the platform towards the camera.

A large group of supporters walk down a street that has shop called 'Fletchers of Leeds', and the fans are escorted by mounted policeman. Supporters then walk through a small underpass, before crossing a bridge that runs over the M1 motorway. A 'P2' bus is then shown with the destination reading 'Elland Road'.

An officer puts a blanket over a horse, and in the next shot, rides past the camera outside the stadium as fans arrive. Supporters move through the turnstiles at the stadium entrance, before another view of a street shows a caravan with a police emblem on the side, where inside, an officer sits at a radio.

Fans wearing an assortment of jumpers, flared trousers, leather jackets and track suit tops, exit a bus waving at the camera. A supporter is then grabbed by an officer, who holds a confiscated hammer in his hands. Other fans gather round the scene before the police officers lead the man away.

Fans have formed an orderly queue outside the stadiums main entrance, and are watched closely by an officer on horseback. Many vehicles are then captured parked on the forecourt outside an establishment called 'The old peacock'.

Inside a police station an arrested man is writing his details down at a desk, surrounded by officers. Next, the fan who was caught with the hammer has a picture taken with an officer, who holds a chalk board that reads 'Supt Steel. - R. Owens.'.

Back inside Elland Road, and Leeds United players emerge from the tunnel, jogging onto the pitch.  There are some shots of the football match between Leeds and Ipswich, with Tony Currie being tackled by John Wark, and of the stands filled with supporters.

Next, inside a surveillance room, several monitors show CCTV footage from around the Elland Road stadium. The corridors of the stadium are then shown, which are packed with supporters drinking beers from plastic cups, and some fans make faces at the camera.

Inside Elland Road fans cheer excitedly before the goalkeeper makes a long kick downfield. Inside a room, men stand around drinking beer and cups of tea, before back to the stands, where Leeds fans in denim clothing chanting abuse at the opposition supporters. Mounted police then stand in line outside 'Sheila's cafe', and other policeman wait outside one of the entrances to a stand.

After the game has finished, a huge crowd of supporters walk down a road that runs in parallel to the M1 motorway. The filmmaker captures the fashions, which consist of woolly jumpers and tracksuit tops. Next, crowds stream past a parked canine unit van; an officer takes the dog from the back and a fan leaps out of the way. A mounted police officer tries to hurry on some fans, before a large group of supporters are escorted across a bridge that runs over the M1.

The next sequence shows the fans being ushered into a train station. On a station platform trouble breaks out between fans, and some shots show police officers stepping in to deal with the offenders. A train is then captured by the filmmaker pulling out of a station.

The film switches to another match, showing football supporters making their way to the ground, queuing up to through the turnstiles, and then inside, wearing red and white scarves, and separated from the home supporters by empty standing areas and fences.