"A certain element smiled when West Ham and Millwall were drawn together, while the rest of football held its head in its hands. When those two teams meet it goes beyond football and the game should not be punching itself on the nose over what happened." So says ex-hooligan Cass Pennant about last Tuesday's events - which have now been dubbed the "2009 Upton Park riots".

Those of you who watched the film “Green Street Hooligans” will remember the part in which bitter rivals West Ham FC and Millwall FC are drawn to play each other in the cup. Various hooligans punch the air, children cheer, while Elijah Wood’s character exhales sharply - “Ooof”. When the League Cup draw was made in mid-August and the two teams were pitted against each other in real life, “Ooof” seemed the most appropriate response, then, too.

The match was to be the first time the clubs had faced each other in over four years. Meanwhile, West Ham fans needed no reminding that it was eighteen-and-a-half years since they had last beaten their opponents. The League Cup second round, one of the least inspiring dates in English football, had a decidedly spicy appeal to it. While other cup matches around the country experienced lower-than-average attendences and little or no interest, the game attracted the largest audience of the night (although the lack of women and children at the game was noticable and reflective of the match's imfamy).

What happened before, during and after the match has been reported and televised non-stop. Before the game the opposing sets of fans clashed, resulting in a man being stabbed (he is in a stable condition) and over twenty other men being injured. During the match (and it is strange to think behind all the violence a fairly meaningless football match was taking place) the pitch was invaded by West Ham fans three times. After the match fans and police again clashed.

The most powerful aspect of the above video is the noise at the 50 second mark. The wall of shouting men, stamping boots, obscenities and missiles. Its been decades since that wordless sound has reverberated around London and its football grounds, but on Tuesday it was back with a force. The 1980s-esque hooliganism was backed up by 21st century technology, with forums and messageboards being used to organise clashes. "Bring your bats and don't bring your kids" read one of the posts.

The threat of copycat events in the coming weeks is a worry, as is its effect on England's bid to host the 2018 World Cup. The most worrying aspect of the evening, however, was that is stamped out the belief in this country that football was now hooligan free.

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