An introduction from new member John Curran

By John Curran

My name is John Curran and I have recently completed my MA in Critical & Creative Analysis at Goldsmiths, University of London. Both my BA (Sociology & Politics) & MA dissertations have been focussed on football fan culture, its relation to the contemporary game, ultras and British subcultures that have stood on the terraces over the years. I am currently applying to undertake a PhD, also at Goldsmiths, which will examine the similar topics of fan groups, causes of the decline in British fan culture, the development of “modern football” and the countercultural elements of the (predominantly) European fan scene.

My interest in the aforementioned topics stem primarily from two sources, a lifelong love affair with Crystal Palace and membership for the last 9 years of the Holmesdale Fanatics, Crystal Palace’s ultras group which was formed in 2005 in order to combat the effects of the modern game on said football club and the game it inhabits. This took the form of organising a initially small group of supporters that would grow into a block of lads standing together to improve the atmosphere, ensure the standing tradition continued that had been clamped down on post Hillsborough and celebrate the history and traditions of the club through visual form in displays, banners and flags. The group grown over the next five years before playing a leading role in the protests against the clubs liquidation in 2010. Following this dark episode the group has grown in numbers, stature, prominence within the club and relationship with both the upper echelons of the its directorate, whilst remaining staunchly independent, and the wider Palace fanbase.

Outside of our own club we have played a significant role in the FSF’s 20 plenty campaign, which resulted in capped £30 away tickets for all Premier League games, we provided opposition to the FA’s EPPP (Elite Player Performance Plan) which saw academies being given stature based on the financial backing of their clubs rather than their quality of player output, as well as standing against the ridiculous kick off times faced by fans who are currently at the mercy of the television companies.  The group celebrated its 12 year just before the new year and looks forward to battling against the games ills in the coming years.

Whilst waiting to begin my PhD I am interesting in writing articles for online and print that relate to football and particularly fan culture as well as meeting with other journalists, academics, fans and those who share an interest in some of the aforementioned topics. If you would like to read either of my dissertations, other work or would like to speak regarding prospective work or writings or generally to chat. Please contact me at


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