Carol Cass Pennant is an English writer and former football hooligan. Founder of the independent film production and marketing company, Urban Edge Films, Cass has established his reputation in the TV as well as the film industry, and has authored and co-authored some of UK’s top sellers. His former street life and background in football hooliganism has inspired many of his media projects. His autobiography ‘Cass’, which details his violent early life, was filmed into the critically acclaimed British feature film ‘Cass’ directed by Jon S. Baird. 'Cass' was exclusively aired on London Live TV. His award-winning documentary ‘Casuals’, which was a nominee for the British Urban Film Festival Best Documentary Award, was broadcast on Community Channel TV. Pennant also regularly visits prisons and schools where he interacts with the inmates and students and encourages them to stay away from hooliganism and street violence.
In the 1970s, Cass Pennant joined the football gang Inter City Firm (ICF) which is associated with the English football club, West Ham United, and became its leader. Despite the high level of racism in the UK, Cass managed to rise to the top, and become one of the generals of ICF. He started indulging in fights and violence in support of his team.
In 1980, he was sentenced to four years in prison, and was the first person to get a long-term sentence for football hooliganism. After he was sentenced to prison for the second time, he started a security firm in London for nightclubs. While he was working at one such nightclub in South London, he got involved in a fight and was shot three times. After the incident, he decided to leave this dark world of crime.
In 2002, he wrote his autobiography ‘Cass’. In the same year, he appeared on a documentary, ‘Football's Fight Club,’ which was about football hooliganism in the 1970s. It aired on Channel 4. He also worked as a consultant on television programs like ‘The Real Football Factories’ and ‘The Real Football Factories International’. He was a consultant for a 2005 drama film about football hooliganism, titled ‘Green Street’.
Cass Pennant authored the book, ‘Congratulations, You Have Just Met the ICF’ in 2003. He wrote the foreword for ‘Undesirables’ written by Colin Blaney, who was a football hooligan for Manchester United. Cass also wrote a short piece about Manchester United's rivalry with West Ham for the book. In 2006, he penned ‘Top Boys: True Stories of Football's Hardest Men’. He also co-authored ‘Rolling with the 6.57 Crew: The True Story of Pompey's Legendary Football Fans’ in 2004; ‘Terrace Legends’ in 2005; ‘Good Afternoon, Gentlemen, the Name's Bill Gardner’ in 2006; ‘30 Years of Hurt: A History of England's Hooligan Army’ in 2006; ‘Want Some Aggro?’ in 2007; and ‘The Story of Barrington 'Zulu' Patterson, One of Britain's Deadliest Men’ in 2013.
In 2006, a documentary about Pennant’s former hooligan life called ‘Cass Pennant—Enough Said’ was released. It was directed by Liam Galvin. In 2008, a film titled ‘Cass’ was made based on his life story, directed by Jon S. Baird. Cass played the leading role in the movie ‘Killer Bitch’ in 2010. He co-produced his first feature ‘The Guvnors’ for Metrodome, which won the 2015 Nation Film Award for Best Action Movie. His short film ‘Beverley’ which he developed with writer-director Alexander Thomas, received critical acclaim at the UK and International film festivals.
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Cass Pennant was born on March 3, 1958, in Doncaster, South Yorkshire. His biological mother, who emigrated from Jamaica while she was pregnant with Cass, abandoned him at a Dr. Barnardo's Home when he was six weeks old. An elderly white family in Kent fostered him. Being the only black member in the family and locality, he was bullied and beaten by the other kids in the neighborhood and school for years. His feminine name Carol, given by his biological mother, was another source of bullying for him, particularly by his schoolmates. After Carol watched the boxer Cassius Clay beat Henry Cooper, he adopted the name Cass. He is married to Elaine Pennant.