John Lydon recalls "thrill" of being a football hooligan

13 January 2021, 11:47 | Updated: 13 January 2021, 11:58

John Lydon at the premiere Of Epix&squot;s "Punk" - Arrivals
John Lydon reveals he was a football hooligan. Picture: Emma McIntyre/Getty Images

By Jenny Mensah

The Sex Pistols rocker and Arsenal fan has detailed his stint as a football yob and admitted he did it for the thrill.

John Lydon has revealed he was a football yob and loved the "thrill" of getting into fights.

The Sex Pistols rocker is a die-hard Arsenal fan and has detailed getting into scraps after football matches in his new book, I Could Be Wrong I Could Be Right.

"A football match was the right occasion for letting go of all of that anger and aggression because even the biggest riots were over in minutes," he recalled.

"It’s frightening when it all kicks off. But usually the people to fear the most were the police themselves, especially in those early days.

"The police were steel-toe-capped, hobnailed, f****** cruel bully f******. In any ground, anywhere. And everybody knew it. The police were murderous."

READ MORE: John Lydon doubles down on Trump support in Good Morning Britain rant

The 64-year-old rocker added: "Some of them were in police firms. They’d know all the local lads in the grounds where they were particularly fond of abusing their power and they’d make beelines for it.

"People would get a clip, they’d think it was a laugh. 'Look, I got a black eye.' But then it would be onto the next. People would make themselves feel like a little bit of a hero, but there was no real damage.

"The general point and purpose was the thrill of it all."

The God Save the Queen rocker suggested that football fans today just "act like Jack the Lad" and use their voices more than their fists, but he does think knife crime has made violence more dangerous in general.

"Some of the fans go to football games now and they act like Jack the Lad." he continued. "They are just loudmouths and being a loudmouth wasn’t where it was at."

He added: "There was real edge, real danger.

"Bloody hell, yeah. But it wasn’t like the knifings that it’s degenerated into.

"It would be proper bloody hidings though, eugh. I got it a few times. Everybody got some beatings."

READ MORE: Noel Gallagher reveals how John Lydon dissed his brother Liam

Meanwhile, a new Sex Pistols biopic directed by Danny Boyle has been confirmed by FX Entertainment.

The limited series, which will be entitled Pistol, is set for six episodes that will be based on the legendary punk band's guitarist Steve Jones' 2018 memoir Lonely Boy: Tales from a Sex Pistol.

The project - which will be helmed by the Trainspotting director, who also takes on Executive Producer duties - was created by Craig Pearce and written by Pearce and Frank Cottrell Boyce.

Pistol stars Toby Wallace as Steve Jones, Anson Boon as John Lydon, Louis Partridge as Sid Vicious, Jacob Slater as Paul Cook, Fabien Frankel as Glen Matlock, Dylan Llewellyn as Wally Nightingale, Sydney Chandler as Chrissie Hynde, Emma Appleton as Nancy Spungen and Maisie Williams as punk icon Jordan.

"Imagine breaking into the world of The Crown and Downton Abbey with your mates and screaming your songs and your fury at all they represent,” said Danny Boyle of the announcement. "This is the moment that British society and culture changed forever. It is the detonation point for British street culture...where ordinary young people had the stage and vented their fury and their fashion…and everyone had to watch & listen…and everyone feared them or followed them. The Sex Pistols. At its center was a young charming illiterate kleptomaniac - a hero for the times - Steve Jones, who became in his own words, the 94th greatest guitarist of all time. This is how he got there."

READ MORE: Did the Sex Pistols' Nevermind The Bollocks album inspire Nirvana's Nevermind

Sex Pistols Songs