Notorious English soccer hooligans have been spotted in Belfast ahead of today’s expected Orange blockade of the city.
Well-known members of the Chelsea Headhunters – enthusiastic supporters of loyalist paramilitaries – were seen in the city centre at the weekend and it’s believed they’re here to join in loyalist protests.
A local anti-racist group says it fears the thugs are here to incite violence.

A campaigning Anti-Racism group say they are horrified that notorious football hooligans with close links to loyalists have travelled to Belfast for the Twelfth ‘celebrations’.
Members of the Chelsea Headhunters, notorious for a catalogue of sickening violence, were spotted with well-known loyalists in Belfast city centre on Saturday afternoon.
Chelsea Headhunters are renowned for their connections to Nazi groups such as Combat 18, the Ku Klux Klan and the British National Party. The group also boasts of their support for loyalist paramilitaries.
The group’s website shows photographs of members posing in front of loyalist murals. One shot shows a member of the group in front of a Red Hand Commando mural on the Shankill while another shows a member posing in front of a King Billy mural on Sandy Row.
Davy Carlin from the Anti-Racism Network said that the fact that the violent hooligans are in Belfast is worrying.
“Such organisations are known to come over here for the Twelfth and it just shows the close links between loyalists and groups like the Chelsea Headhunters, the BNP and Combat 18,” said Davy.
The anti-racism activist said that the fact that members are in the North for the Twelfth is worrying.
“I am very concerned that these people are on the streets in Belfast, these people incite violence and engage in violence.”
Reports that the Chelsea thugs are set to join Orangemen marching through Ardoyne this morning has heightened tensions in the area. Last night, Secretary of State Paul Murphy appealed for calm. On Sunday afternoon, the Secretary of State met with unionist politicians who are demanding he reverse a Parades Commission decision to prevent supporters of Orange Lodges taking part in the Order’s return parade through Ardoyne this evening. But Sinn Féin MLAGerry Kelly says the decision to force Orange marchers through the area twice today is “unacceptable”.

Journalist:: Staff Reporter

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