The Wrong Outfit

  • Also available as: Dust Jacket Hardcover
  • Published: August 2010
  • Format: Perfect Bound Softcover(B/W)
  • Pages: 416
  • Size: 6x9
  • ISBN: 9781452001524

'The Wrong Outfit' by Al Gregg, is a powerful novel about a boy called Adam Nedman, who grows up through the 1970's and 80's and is greatly affected by both Football and Punk Rock. . . . . . . . Perhaps Adam was just in the wrong place at the wrong time? Or perhaps he was in the right place but at the wrong moment? He could never quite work it out. . Or maybe it was just from that very first moment? Maybe right there, right then. From birth. Like he was marked out by something. Like he was....Damned. Well, that's how it felt sometimes. . From home life to football terrace. Through school daze to punk chaos. Perhaps there had never been any doubt? Adam was in the wrong outfit.... . . . . . . . . . . . What they're saying about the book: . . 'At times, a journey into Punk Rock's own 'Heart of Darkness', Al realistically captures the moment Punk Rock finally implodes. If you want to know what it was like to be a young Punk Rocker, on the ground, at the time - you won't find a better/sharper book than this'. Dave Parsons (Guitarist - Sham 69) . . . . 'Al Gregg, who grew up in the dizzy heights of the Punk revolution, is a fearless, tenacious and brilliantly talented new writer'. Honey Bane . . . 'Replete with childlike wonderment and an aficionado's knowledge, Al Gregg might just as well do for Chelsea and Punk Rock, as what Nick Hornby did for Arsenal and Bruce Springsteen. A must for all purveyors of the punk movement. An absolute must for all football fans'. David Marx (Forward writer for Alex Ogg's 'No More Heroes') . . . 'Al Gregg's debut novel 'The Wrong Outfit' shows considerable artistic talent; with it's very likeable story, an obvious warmth for the characters and a detailed knowledge of punk, football and the experience of making the transition from child to adulthood'. Charlie Wykes (TVFH) . . . 'The Wrong Outfit' by Al Gregg is an excellent book, I loved every last page of it, in fact I loved it so much, I mentioned it in my recent CFC UK article'. Mark Worrall (Author of Gate 17 classics 'Over Land and Sea', 'One Man Went to Mow' and 'Blue Murder') . . . 'I saw the review of The Wrong Outfit in the recent CFC UK Fanzine and I've been reading the book and really enjoying it. The writing is very good'. John King (Author of classics 'The Football Factory', 'Headhunters', 'Skinheads', 'Human Punk') . . . 'Al Gregg's first novel is a superb effort and nothing less than essential reading'. David Johnstone (CFC UK and Co-Writer of classic 'Chelsea Here, Chelsea There') . . . 'The book is brilliant and very funny - it's Adrian Mole on glue! Especially liked the depictions of The Clash and Sham gigs - I couldn't put it down and it brings back some great memories. It's one of the best expositions of growing up in that era that I've read. When's the next one coming out!' Chidge (The Football Fancast) . . . 'It's great about 'The Wrong Outfit', I thought it was really good, really caught the late 70's early 80's period of punk away from the usual stories that are written. Brilliant it's doing so well'. Steve North (Actor - 'London's Burning', 'Dr Who', 'Steve in 'Meeting Joe Strummer', Co-Writer of 'Build a Bonfire' and Associate Producer of 'The Football Factory') . . . 'It was a great read, I especially loved all the punk bits - not being a football fan (at all), and all the cultural references brought the childhood memories flooding back!' Ian Glasper (Author of Punk classics 'Burning Britain', 'The Day the Country Died') . . . 'Loved 'The Wrong Outfit', the book brought back some marvellous (music) and some horrendous (Football '76 - '80) memories... those days were very scary!' Mark Chadderton (U.K. Subs Time and Matter) . . . 'In his book The Wrong Outfit, Al Gregg gives really insightful descriptions. It's definitely a must purchase for all U.K. Subs fans!' Paul Slack (Bassist - U.K. Subs, Monica and the Explosion) . . . 'What a fantastic read. I toured with many punk bands back in the late 70's through Rock against Racism, especially The Ruts, The Clash and Stiff Little Fingers and Al brings back many powerful memories of mine of those great days, hanging out with the likes of Joe Strummer, Malcolm Owen and Jake Burns'. Sam Palmer (Keyboards/Vocals - Misty in Roots, Steel Pulse) . . . 'The Wrong Outfit' is excellent. It just has to be read. It's epic, exhilarating, spellbinding and a remarkable read'. Merlin (Vital Football) . . . 'Al Gregg's The Wrong Outfit is an authentic and nostalgic journey back through the urban wasteland of Punk Rock in London in the 70's and 80's. I came to London on many occasions from Stevenage (often with 80's band Chron Gen) and observed how Punk and football went hand in hand, sharing the same energy, excitement and, in my case, battles against Fascist Skinheads at gigs and on the way back from matches. Against the backdrop of social and political unrest in London and the UK, Al captures the rebellion of the time and evokes the soundtrack of my youth as he skillfully weaves a tale of Adam's youthful obsession with Punk and Chelsea Football Club, before they were any good. A superb read!' David Schaal (Actor: Jay's Dad 'The Inbetweeners'/Taffy 'The Office', Co-Writer/Director of Punk play 'Reality Chokes') . . . 'I absolutely loved 'The Wrong Outfit!' It's a 3-0 Home win, with guitars!' Phil Bonney (International/Bundesliga Football Commentator) . . . 'What a story. Al Gregg of The Wall has written a great book!' Harvey Taylor (Punk Rock 77) . . . 'I really enjoyed the book, especially remembering the author as an adolescent, it gave me his own perspective, which was fascinating!' Charlotte Greig (Singer, Writer and collaborator with Jon Savage on his classic punk book 'England's Dreaming') . . . 'Punk and football are not an obviously harmonious mix, but actor and musician Al Gregg manages to hit just the right note in his debut novel with perfect pitch'. Jane Harrison (West London Times, Ealing Gazette/Leader) . . . 'Al Gregg makes is debut in much the same way as his music and acting career, no holds barred and in gripping fashion. It's an in depth and well constructed novel on the lines of John King meets Richard Allen. The author played a part in the punk scene, so all the detail and info are true to light, so for all of you punks out there from the 70's onwards who like myself live and breath the scene, this book will sit nicely wedged beside John King and Ian Glasper's books on your shelf. War on the terraces meets war on the streets. A very fine piece of nostalgia'. Snaba Noble (Singer/Bassist - Red Brigade, Decontrol) . . . 'In The Wrong Outfit, Al Gregg from that great band The Wall, tells it just like it was, as a young Punk in the old days!' Dave Reeves (Guitarist - The Straps) . . . 'I really like the style the book is written in, with the author observing Adam's development and feelings as he goes along his trying adolescent years. There's a really nice mix of humour and self analysis too. Despite football being hard for me, not being a great fan of the game, I still found it very readable and interesting. It's a great read!' Claire Bidwell (Bassist - The Passions, The Wall)



During the summer holidays, Adam and Steve decided to travel to Chelsea’s second division away fixture at Millwall.  Although they weren’t sure exactly why they did.  The match was a London derby of the less appetising sort.  A friendly it most definitely was not, and you could be sure that the local New Cross constabulary would have a little flutter in their tummies come Saturday - that’s if they hadn’t gone on holiday, or taken sick leave at short notice.  Millwall versus Chelsea was known as a ‘ding-dong’ derby.  Millwall fists would probably be the ‘ding’ and Chelsea heads would probably be the ‘dong’. 

     The train journey was endless, changing from this line then changing to that.  The boys were most definitely in a different part of town - there was no welcoming committee and New Cross Gate station seemed as if it had been refused council refurbishing grants since the Industrial Revolution.  A steam train was expected at any moment.  There was then a long walk to the ground partly because they got lost and it wasn’t long before Adam and Steve found themselves behind schedule.

     They were trying to keep a low profile, but being only just thirteen (Steve was only a year older) they didn’t quite understand the meaning of the word subtlety.  They both wore nylon Chelsea scarves tied around their wrists and Steve had brought his lucky Chelsea jacket covered in badges, of the large sew on variety, for good measure.  Fortunately, both teams played in blue and white so at a hundred yards distance it would not be completely obvious they were ‘Blues’ supporters.

     Not only did both clubs share blue and white colours, they also shared the same animal on the crest of their shirts.  The Lion.  Millwall called themselves, ‘The Lions’ and their ground, ‘The Den’ in Cold Blow Lane, continued the theme.  I suppose you could say that Adam and Steve were just another two ignorant visitors coming to be fed to them.

     Millwall’s ground looked similar to the Shed End at Chelsea, only this time it was all the way round.  If it was a food it would most likely resemble a bowl of concrete.  Terraces on three sides.  Rickety fences.  A small side stand of seats for the more retiring supporters.  They even had mounds of rubble outside for ammunition and old railway tracks, tunnels and breakers yards littered the barren dockland terrain, probably to hasten a quick getaway.  Adam and Steve were a little bit concerned.  Nothing of this was mentioned in the brochures.  To their dismay, it seemed as if only one member of the local constabulary had bothered to turn up on his bicycle and he was an old extra from Z Cars.


'The Wrong Outfit', is Al Gregg's debut novel and alongside his writing, which includes both plays and short stories, he is also a professional actor and musician.  Leaving school at sixteen, he sang and played guitar in various punk bands including The Wall, who were label mates on Polydor with Sham 69, The Jam and Siouxsie and the Banshees.  After punk he trained as an actor and has since appeared in many Theatre, Television, Film, Commercials and Voice Over productions.  His co-written play with David Schaal (from TV's 'The Office', 'Inbetweeners') about punk called 'Reality Chokes' had a very successful run at the 2009 Edinburgh Festival garnering some 5 star reviews and a nomination for the MTMUK Edinburgh Fringe Awards.

Al is married and lives in West London.

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Perfect Bound Softcover(B/W)
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