Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Spurs Fan Stabbed by Italian Thugs Fights for Life

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Spurs Fan Stabbed by Italian Thugs Fights for Life

Article excerpt

Byline: Tom Collamosse in Rome, Justin Davenport and Kiran Randhawa

AT A OTTENHAM fan was fighting for his life today after being stabbed by hooligans in Rome.

The 24-year-old supporter was said to have been knifed in the neck after about 100 hardcore Lazio supporters stormed into a bar in the Italian capital in the early hours.

He was named by police as Ashley Mills. He was said to have been stabbed in the jugular vein and needed emergency surgery.

The violence erupted before tonight's Europa League clash between the two sides. Ten supporters were injured by knife- and baton-wielding thugs who were reportedly members of Lazio's notorious "Ultras".

Witnesses told how they surrounded a pub in Campo de Fiori square where Spurs fans were drinking in the early hours. Armed with bats, belts and knives they stormed inside attacking people indiscriminately. "We feared the worst," one supporter said. "There were over 100, and some were hooded. One group, which stayed outside, cordoned off the bar and let no one enter or leave."

The venue, the Drunken Ship, was left devastated by the raid, while cobbles outside the bar were splashed with blood. After the attack at about 1.30am, which lasted only a few minutes, the mob fled down sidestreets, dropping weapons as they left.

Ten people, nine British and one American, were wounded. Three other Britons were named locally as Dave Lesley, Stephen Tierney and Christopher Allen. The American, who was also stabbed, is not thought to have been a Spurs fan but was caught up in the trouble by chance.

A spokesman for Rome police said: "A group in motorcycle helmets or with their faces covered were armed, and attacked the English football fans drinking in Campo de Fiori square.

"This was the worst incident we have dealt with in recent years."

Italian newspaper La Repubblica reported scenes of "urban warfare".

It said Lazio fans were armed with knives, baseball bats, belts and knuckledusters and went on to "destroy" the venue. …

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