Derby day warning to football hooligans in Sheffield

Football hooligans have been warned against derby day violence when Sheffield Wednesday play Sheffield United this weekend.

Shaun Morley

Police chiefs have spent months planning for the first Steel City Derby to be held in the city for five years, with the safety of fans in and around the ground and across the city the focus of the operation.

With previous fixtures marred with violence, 'significant numbers' of police officers have been tasked with keeping rival fans apart on the day to avoid any trouble.

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But ahead of the derby, Sheffield's District Commander, Chief Superintendent Shaun Morley, has also issued a warning to hooligans that clashes with opposition supporters will land them in a cell.

"We are not going to tolerate any sort of disorder or anti-social behaviour that will spoil the enjoyment of the first derby day in five and a half years for the city of Sheffield," he said.

"Any individual who wants to go down that route and create disorder or conflict with opposition fans will have to expect that they going to be subjected to positive policing interventions and that we will have the resources to do so.

"There will be a significant number of police officers on duty from early morning until late at night.

"There are a small minority who seem intent on causing disorder, anti-social behaviour and conflict. We will identify those individuals and bring them to justice."

Chf Supt Morley's warning came after Sheffield United fans were involved in clashes with rival Norwich City fans outside Bramall Lane on Saturday.

John Carver, 55, of Norwich, was left with a broken jaw after he was knocked unconscious as he left the ground after his team's 1-0 away win.

He is due to undergo surgery today.

Norwich fan Mark Francis, 50, was also attacked as he left Bramall Lane after the game, claiming he suffered a blow to the side of his head as violence flared.

Two Sheffield men, aged 22 and 39, were arrested over the disorder.

The younger man was held on suspicion of assault and the older man on suspicion of a public order offence over the weekend.

Last week, Cleveland Police issued CCTV images of eight Sheffield United fans wanted over violent clashes with rival fans in Middlesbrough last month.

Detectives said they want to speak to a number of Blades fans about 'crime and disorder' in and around the Riverside Stadium on Saturday, August 12.

Around 200 rival fans clashed outside the ground following a pitch invasion by Sheffield United fans after a last-minute equaliser was disallowed.

Children was young as 10 witnessed the disorder and a police officer was injured.

A Cleveland Police spokeswoman said: "Inquiries are on-going, with both clubs and South Yorkshire Police supporting our investigation.

"Several arrests have already been made, with further arrests expected in due course.

"We are making use of all the investigative tools and specialist technology at our disposal and we will continue to work with our partners to identify and deal with anyone involved.

"We will also seek to obtain football banning orders where appropriate in a bid to keep football a family friendly game which is safe and enjoyable for all."

Anyone who recogonises the men in the CCTV images should call PC Chris Hilton at Cleveland Police on 101.