Green Street Hooligans

Inciting Event: Matt is thrown into his brother-in-law Pete’s care and taken to The Abbey—Pete’s place of business. He is shown the underworld of British football hooliganism. He enters a world of alcohol, violence, and camaraderie.

First Plot Point: Matt is ambushed and is about to be given a Chelsea smile when Pete and the others rescue him. After a brief victory, the Birmingham crew regroup. The GSE are outnumbered. Matt wants to leave but is told, “You don’t run. Not when you’re with us.” When the fight starts, Matt gets knocked down. Seeing his own blood, he chooses to engage and fight back. They stand their ground until GSE reinforcements arrive and seal the victory.

First Pinch Point: Annoyed by the firm’s acceptance of “The Yank,” Bovver rides off to Millwall where he meets Tommy Hatcher. Tommy ruthlessly beats up a patron of the cafe for not keeping his girlfriend quiet.

Midpoint: The conflict is heightened when they talk about how United are going to be gunning for Pete after what he did to their top boy. The tension is further escalated by Bovver and Dave not being at the station. The stakes are ramped up again when Dave phones from Manchester and informs them that the United firm is waiting for them at the station, “Don’t roll into Manchester.” The train is an express, but Bovver pulls the emergency stop lever. There are no taxis. Seeing a truck, Matt has an idea. Pretending to be a film crew, they take the United firm by surprise and win.

Second Pinch Point: Steve’s identity as “The Major” is revealed. He tells Matt the reason for Tommy’s animosity. Tommy’s son was killed under the boots of the GSE.

Third Plot Point: Millwall attacks The Abbey. Steve (the Major) is stabbed in the neck.

Climax: The GSE and Millwall finally meet. Pete is winning against Tommy until Tommy pulls out a truncheon and seriously injures Pete. Bovver arrives and saves Pete, it looks like the GSE will win until Shannon and her baby arrive. Matt tries to protect them but is no match for Tommy’s second-in-command. Pete tells Bovver, “If you want to make up for what you did, get my brother’s family out of here.” Bovver and Matt overpower Millwall’s No.2. Pete tries to distract Tommy from engaging (“Don’t you want to finish me off?”), but Tommy is not biting: “You’re already finished.”

Climactic Moment: Pete tells Tommy, “We didn’t kill your son, Tommy. You did.” Tommy goes insane and beats Pete to death. Pete gives his own life to protect his brother’s family. The brutality of the attack brings the conflict to an end. Neither side has the stomach to continue fighting.

Resolution: Shannon drives away in tears. Steve is distraught in his hospital bed. Matt confronts a cocaine-snorting Jeremy Van Holden in a toilet. Matt tricks Jeremy into confessing the drugs were his and records it. When he plays the confession back, Van Holden lunges for it and Matt defends himself, tripping Van Holden and raising a fist to his face. He does not hit him, but it is clear Matt has changed. No one is going to push him around anymore. The story closes with Matt walking alone down an American street singing West Ham’s anthem “I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles.”

Comments: Although the Main Character is Matt Buckner, he does not drive the plot in any substantial way. The Protagonist is Pete Dunham. The awful ending of the protagonist being beaten to death is mellowed by seeing the Main Character’s arc developed in a positive way.

(Submitted by Neil Brown.)

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