A group of football Casuals sit in the corner of the rock pub I’m in, they’re giving off a concealed menace and bigger boy vibe that has regressed most of the customers back to their school defaults, and the rock crowd were definitely not on the top of the food chain at any school. The Casuals are subdued but everyone casts an eye over every no and again to check their mood.

It’s clear that they’re different, an aberration to the safe space. The differences are subtle but in an environment of outsider conformity they’re jarring. They buy an excess of drinks, looking back to the table and estimating roughly who wants one, doubling that figure, and getting a couple extra just in case. Their table is a small glass forest of green bottles.

They’re a mass of quilted jackets, Burberry scarves and fitted winter jackets all done up to the neck. As a left over from our ‘scruffy’ reputation or perhaps Grunge’s lasting legacy, are the layers of clothes we wear, nothing fastened, tucked or buckled.

The act of fastening all the buttons on a jacket is some sort of sartorial shibboleth.

They look like delinquent game keepers. I don’t know if appropriating the clothing of the upper classes is a conscious act of aspiration or a muted angry subversion of class hierarchy. I don’t want to ask either. It’s jarring that the clothing doesn’t really reflect football at all, no-ones wearing a replica kit or even a scarf – yet everyone knows they’re football fans. I suppose the closest logical connection is that the clothes look warm which is useful when attending an outdoor event in winter.

Somebody receives a call, they all leave together.

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