I ended up being a soul boy as I was heavily into jazz funk and soul. We got a lot of abuse from our white colleagues at school (being supporters of the National Front), there was a tide of racism sweeping the country and they made us feel ashamed of being Asian. My younger brother and I had to take up martial arts (Shotokan karate) to defend ourselves. I was torn between two cultures I did not know what to do, however this all changed once we started hanging around town.
We saw a group of young lads dressed to kill in Pringle, Lyle & Scott, Farah’s, Kickers etc. We wanted to be like them and in 1983 we started to attend Filbert Street football ground in Leicester and created a little firm called the YTS (Young Trendy Squad) and we were part of the Baby Squad. My first casual outfit was a Patrick cagoule worn with a Lyle & Scott polo neck, plain Slazenger V-neck jumper, bleached jeans slit at the bottom and Puma G. Villas. At first there were some initial reactions to us as there were hardly any Asian casuals in and around the UK but after an incident in Skegness (against a mob of skinheads) that all changed and we became full members of the Baby Squad. In total there must have been 20 odd Asians in the Baby Squad.
This is my story from 1983 up until 1989 of being an Asian casual.