Everyone connected to English football will be deeply troubled by the recent violence scenes witnessed in the Premier League and FA Cup including the terrible scenes of Millwall fans causing havoc on the terraces during their FA Cup semi-final against Wigan and Newcastle fans creating disturbances after their Premier League loss to local rivals Sunderland. It had been hoped we would not go back to the dark ages of English football with the formation of the English Premier league with all the best players from around the world featuring in English Premier League shirts. Hooliganism first started in English football in the 1970's and continued into the 1980's with some major battles creating a horrific reputation for English football and their fans with Europeans calling football violence the "English disease." The situation came to an all-time low point during Liverpool's 1985 European Cup final match against Juventus at the Heysel stadium where Liverpool fans broke a police guard and attached Juventus fans. In the resulting panic a wall collapsed causing the deaths of many Italians and the incident was termed the Heysel stadium disaster. This incident caused the governing body UEFA to take action and all English teams were banned from European club competitions until 1990.

The UK government was shocked at the violence and poor image that was being portrayed and took drastic action to curb the violence and create a more family friendly environment at stadiums. All seater stadiums were introduced with heavy penalties for any fans that were found guilty of causing trouble. Also the introduction of a new top division caused the Premier League attracting only the best players in the world to feature in a Premier League shirt has created an environment where parents are happy to bring their children. Although little violence has been seen at stadiums in recent years with people focusing the skills displayed by the players wearing Premier League shirts more organised violence has been on the surface at pre-arranged events. It is clear from the strong statement from the FA, Premier League and Newcastle United that neither the football authorities or the clubs will want a return to the dark days for English football and will be keen that everyone who watches the Premier League can focus on the outstanding talent displayed from all the best players from around the globe wearing smartly designed football kits with the Premier League shirts featuring patches and name and number printing. With big business associated with English football in the modern era and massive sponsorship deals associated with Premier League shirts no one will want to go back to the dark times where English fans were feared around Europe.

We would love to hear your opinion; do you think violence ever left English football? Are the recent troubles just a one off?

David writes exclusively for Soccer Box where you can buy home and away kits for all your favourite Premier league teams.

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