Millwall brick

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Millwall brick

Type Blunt hand-held weapon
Place of origin England
Service history
Used by Football hooligans and Martial artists
Head type Rolled, folded paper
Haft type Rolled paper

A Millwall brick (also known as a Chelsea Brick) is an improvised weapon made of a manipulated newspaper. It was named for supporters of Millwall F.C., who had a stereotyped reputation for football hooliganism. The Millwall brick was allegedly used as a stealth weapon at football matches in England during the 1960s and 1970s. The weapon's popularity appears to have been due to the wide availability of newspapers, and due to the ease of its construction.


[edit] History

In the late 1960s — in response to football hooliganism at matches in England — police began confiscating any objects that could be used as weapons. These items included steel combs, pens, beermats, Polo mints, shoelaces and boots.[1] However, fans were still permitted to bring in newspapers. Larger newspapers such as The Guardian or The Financial Times work best for a Millwall brick, and the police looked with suspicion at working class football fans who carried such newspapers. Because of their more innocent appearance, tabloid newspapers became the newspapers of choice for Millwall bricks.[2] The book Spirit of '69: A Skinhead Bible describes the use of Millwall bricks by British football hooligans in the late 1960s: "Newspapers were rolled up tightly to form the so-called Millwall Brick and another trick was to make a knuckleduster out of pennies held in place by a wrapped around paper. You could hardly be pulled up for having a bit of loose change in your pocket and a Daily Mirror under your arm."[3] The book Skinhead says, "The Millwall brick, for example, was a newspaper folded again and again and squashed together to form a cosh."[4]

In 1994, martial artist Robert Luis Rivera used principles from the Kampilan Kali martial arts style to devise a curriculum for his weapons class that included using a newspaper as a weapon. This was not limited to just a newspaper. Rivera also used pens, combs, brushes, phones, umbrellas and anything he could get his hands on. Rivera teaches the weapons are extensions of the hands and your empty hands skills must be perfected.[5] In Shotokan Karate, Shihan Craig Finch (6th Dan) has analyzed the Millwall brick as a weapon in order to teach better unarmed defense against attacks using the Millwall brick.[6]

[edit] Cultural references

  • The term Millwall brick appeared in a 2001 Times column about the September 11, 2001 attacks, in which writer Mick Hume sarcastically proposed that airlines get rid of newspapers since "football hooligans used to fold them into something called a Millwall Brick."[7][8]
  • The Millwall brick was mentioned in a 2004 Spiked column about Britain's knife culture.[9]
  • A 2004 column in the New York Sports Express (NYSX) includes an expression of hope that Millwall F.C. would "upset Manchester United and put the infamous Millwall Brick inside the famous FA Cup."[10]
  • A skinhead reggae zine series, Millwall Brick, addressed topics such as the film The Harder They Come, Motown Records and football.[11]
  • The 1994 CD Chello, by Irish pop/rock band Blink includes the song, "Millwall Brick Mix".[12]
  • In 1995, guitarists Doug Aldrich and his hard rock band Bad Moon Rising released an extended play CD entitled Millwall Brick.[13]
  • In the film The Bourne Supremacy, Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) fashioned a similar weapon out of a magazine.

[edit] See also

[edit] Notes

  1. ^ Marshall, George. (1991) Spirit of '69: A Skinhead Bible Publisher: S.T. Publishing. ISBN 0-9518497-0-0
  2. ^ Knight, Nick. (Oct. 1982) Skinhead. Publisher: Omnibus Press. Pg. 17. (writing ISBN 0-7119-0052-3
  3. ^ Marshall, George. (1991) Spirit of '69: A Skinhead Bible Publisher: S.T. Publishing. ISBN 0-9518497-0-0
  4. ^ Knight, Nick. (Oct. 1982) Skinhead. Publisher: Omnibus Press. Pg. 17. ([1] ISBN 0-7119-0052-3
  5. ^ Higbie, Andrea. (Mar. 19, 2000). New York Times. Working-Out: Self-Defense with Props (Try This Newspaper). Pg. 8.
  6. ^ Shotokan Karate website. (Feb. 18, 2006) Shotokan Karate - Self defence and Bo course. Obtained Nov. 4, 2006.
  7. ^ Hume, Mick. (Oct. 20, 2001). The Times. '
  8. ^ Samboboy. (Mar. 15, 2000) Stickgrappler's Martial Arts Archives. Fifty rules of fighting page.Obtained Nov. 4, 2006.
  9. ^ O'Neill, Brendan. (Dec. 16, 2004). Spiked. Knife culture? Cut the crap: There is little evidence for a 'rising tide of knife crime' in Britain. Obtained Nov. 4, 2006.
  10. ^ New York Sports Express. (April 8, 2004) Millwall-Cardiff Yobs Prep for FA Cup Fun. Obtained Nov. 9, 2006.
  11. ^ Out Knocked. Millwall Brick #2. Obtained Nov. 9, 2006. Out Knocked. Millwall Brick #3. Obtained Nov. 9, 2006.
  12. ^ Sneeze, Mr. (June 3, 2001). Sneeze's Blink Page. Blink discography. Obtained Nov. 6, 2006.
  13. ^ Warpigcat; Tbieri; Chrysostome; _jmc_. (2006). Rate Your Music dot com. Albums by Bad Moon Rising. Obtained Nov. 6, 2006.

[edit] External links

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