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My Double Life as a Hooligan Cost Me My Job, My Relationship and a Lot of Money

For a decade, Nick Hay lived the life of a football casual, travelling the Netherlands to watch his team and scrap with opposition fans. Here, Nick explains how he combined his life as a casual with his career.

by Nick Hay
11 January 2017, 6:41pm

Foto via @CasualMind_

This article was originally published by VICE Sports Netherlands

For a decade, Nick Hay* lived the life of a football casual, travelling the Netherlands to watch his team – and getting involved in a fair few scraps along the way. In this article, Nick explains how he combined his life as a casual with his career.

* * *

An experienced office worker might write with a typing speed of 150 keystrokes per minute. Now, imagine doing the same with two broken fingers. You wouldn't achieve more than 30 per minute. 

So there I sat in my office, wearing a navy blue Hugo Boss suit, suffering from severe pain.

See, you wouldn't easily be able to say to your boss: "I'm going to the hospital with my two broken fingers, since yesterday evening I went out pounding at a football game. You've probably read about it in the newspapers." The fact that my double life as a football hooligan wasn't without risk was made very clear to me that Thursday morning, about 30 times a minute, give or take.

Once, at the 50th birthday party of my former father-in-law, I had to leave suddenly and abruptly. My friends stood at the door, and their car was ready to leave. Our opponents had been seen in a large mob downtown. Before I closed the door behind me, I quickly grasped my wife's uncle's favourite umbrella. It could come in handy. I didn't arrive home that night; instead, I slept at the local police station on a grubby mattress and a plastic pillow. I still distinctly remember how air puffed out of a small hole in that pillow each time I turned my head on it.

When I came back home, I found pieces of paper with telephone numbers on them everywhere. They were torn out of the telephone book and contained numbers of local police stations and hospitals. After I got arrested, I hadn't sent any word to my family. While I was getting frustrated that night because of some air puffing out of my pillow, they were in a panic at home and trying to mobilise the whole city. Unsurprisingly, two weeks later, my relationship with my wife would come to an end.

Read the rest of this article on VICE Sports

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