Football’s ‘horrible’ night

by
26 August 2009

by Ed Beavan

Own goal: supporters invade the pitch at Upton Park, West Ham’s ground, on Tuesday night. Others clashed outside

Own goal: supporters invade the pitch at Upton Park, West Ham’s ground, on Tuesday night. Others clashed outside

THE CHAPLAIN of West Ham United, the Ven. Elwin Cockett, Archdeacon of West Ham, has con­demned the violence that marred the club’s League Cup victory against Millwall on Tuesday night

One man was stabbed as fans clashed outside the stadium, and sup­porters fought with police and ran on to the pitch during the game. The scenes were reminiscent of the prob­lems in football during the 1980s, when hooliganism was rife.

Archdeacon Cockett attended the match. He said afterwards that he be­lieved the violence to have been pre­meditated by gangs “who had noth­ing to do with either of the clubs.

“They had nothing to do with football. It’s a tragedy that the game will be dragged through the mud through the action of these complete idiots who just turned up for a fight and did not have tickets for the game. It was a horrible night for foot­ball.”

He accepted that West Ham could face punishment for the incidents inside the ground, and called for fans who invaded the pitch to be banned.

It had been a “horrible week” for West Ham, he said. A defender, Calum Davenport, was stabbed in both legs early on Saturday morning; and the father of Jack Collison, a midfielder, was killed in a motorbike accident on Sunday.

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