This same paper also identified "pitch invasions" as a common occurrence during the 1880s in English football.The first recorded instances of football hooliganism in the modern game allegedly occurred during the 1880s in England, a period when gangs of supporters would intimidate neighbourhoods, in addition to attacking referees, opposing supporters and players.In 1885, after Preston North End beat Aston Villa 5–0 in a friendly match, both teams were pelted with stones, attacked with sticks, punched, kicked and spat at.
Participants often select locations away from stadia to avoid arrest by the police, but conflict can also erupt spontaneously inside the stadium or in the surrounding streets.
In such cases, shop windows may be smashed, rubbish bins set on fire, and police cars may be overturned.
Certain clubs have long-standing rivalries with other clubs (usually, but not always, geographically close) and hooliganism associated with matches between them (sometimes called local derbies), is likely to be more severe.
Conflict may take place before, during or after matches.
Football hooliganism normally involves conflict between gangs, often known as football firms (the term derives from the British slang for a criminal gang), formed for the specific purpose of intimidating and physically attacking supporters of other teams.Other terms commonly used in connection with hooligan firms include "army", "boys", "casuals", and "crew".