James Bannon’s ‘RUNNING WITH THE FIRM’ jumps to number 5 on the Sunday Times Best Sellers List for non-fiction

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By James Bannon

 “When you go under cover remember one thing: Which side you are playing for”

This is the shocking and true story of how James Bannon, an undercover cop infiltrated the notorious Millwall hooligan firm “The Bushwackers”.

In 1995, a film called I.D. was released. It told the story of an ambitious young copper who was sent undercover to track down the ‘generals’ of a football hooligan gang. The film achieved cult status for its sheer brutality and unsettling insight into the dark and often bloody side of the so-called ‘beautiful game’. The film in fact was so shocking it was hard to believe the mindless events that took place could ever happen in the real world.

Almost twenty years on, the man behind the film has finally broken his silence and revealed that the astonishing script was in fact a true story. Author James Bannon, was ‘the ambitious young copper’, ‘the football club’ was Millwall F.C. and the gang that he infiltrated were ‘The Bushwackers’ – one of the most brutal and fearless gangs in English football history.

Running with the Firm tells of an intense and dangerous journey into the heart of the world of hooliganism, where sickening levels of violence prevail over anything else. Bannon introduces the hardest thugs from football’s most notorious gangs, tells all about the secret and almost comical police operations that were meant to bring them down, and, how once you’re on the inside, getting out from the mob proves to be the biggest mission of all.

A disturbing but compelling read, that deals with the highs and lows of football hooliganism and tells of the moments of violence, sadness, friendship and humour – all exactly as they happened.

James Bannon was born in 1965, in Lambeth, south east London. He spent five years serving for the Metropolitan Police, spending a large amount of time as an undercover police officer.

Over the years his film I.D. has gained notoriety. Its subsequent re-release in digitally remastered format in May 2012 reignited the long-standing debate, as to whether the film was based on a true story.  Up till then Bannon had no desire to revisit that chapter of his life.  However, the operation was now twenty-five years old it seems like as good as time as any to tell the full story.

Bannon has gone on to be a successful actor, property developer and proprietor of his own commercial airline. He is an Ambassador for the Princes Trust and now is currently writing and performing stand up comedy full time. He lives with his family in Sussex.

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