Sham 69 are an English punk band from Hersham, Surrey. They allegedly derived their name from a piece of football graffiti that singer Jimmy Pursey had seen on a bathroom stall wall that read "Hersham '69" (the "Her" part was wiped out). The band were pioneers of a musical style termed suburban.
Sham 69 formed in 1976 (the November 12, 1976 issue of NME notes they were rehearsing at this time, although only Pursey would remain from this early lineup 12 months later). Sham 69 lacked the art school background of many British punk bands of the time, and brought in football chant backup vocals and a sort of inarticulate political populism. The band had a large skinhead following (left wing, right wing and non-political), which helped set the tone for the Oi! movement. Their concerts were notoriously plagued by violence, and the band ceased live performances after one of their gigs at Middlesex Polytechnic in 1978 was broken up by National Front skinheads fighting and rushing the stage.< Unsourced image removed: 300px|thumb|Sham 69 -->