Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Ugly Day for the Beautiful Game

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Ugly Day for the Beautiful Game

Article excerpt

Byline: IAN JOHNSON @Ian_JohnsonGaz

MORE arrests are expected to be made following the shameful scenes that marred Boro's first win of the season.

Five people were arrested at Saturday's 1-0 home win over Sheffield United, with fan footage showing the moment an "army" of thugs stormed the Riverside coach park.

A police officer was rushed to hospital and children as young as 10 injured by "mindless morons" as fans from both clubs clashed.

As the probe continues, assistant chief constable Jason Harwin tweeted: "Once again we see a minority use football as an excuse for violence. Cleveland Police will identify and bring those responsible to justice."

Children and pensioners watched in terror as hooligans burst into the coach park, throwing punches and kicks - seemingly at strangers.

Stewards, hugely outnumbered, were unable to contain them as the yobs - believed to be Sheffield United fans - charged people in Boro shirts.

The scenes were filmed by 18-year-old student Carl Draper, who said: "I've had a season ticket for 11 years and this was the worst thing I've ever seen at the match.

"I saw stewards being threatened by people saying, 'If you don't let us through we will punch you'.

"There were about six stewards and one police officer to about 30 Sheffield United fans, so they literally just barged their way in. "There was blood pouring down people's faces, and police were attending to one lad with blood on his face.

"A coin bounced off a car and nearly hit me and I had to dodge rocks. There were families around me dodging them too."

But the Bishop Auckland teenager said both clubs' fans must take a share of the blame.

Onlooker Paddy Sisyphus tweeted: "Today I witnessed the crisis of masculinity first hand: a Boro fan and a Sheff Utd fan trying to punch each other through a mesh fence."

Around 200 people were involved and on Facebook, supporters from both sides called for stadium bans for anyone convicted of a role.

The catalyst for the violence was seemingly the controversial decision to disallow an injury-time equaliser. …

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