The chairman of Whitby Town Football Club today condemned the “handful of idiots” who threw live flares onto the pitch and into the crowd during a match.
Police say the flares were hidden inside the club’s Turnbull Ground at some point before the match against FC United of Manchester last night.
An appeal has been launched into what police say was “significant disorder” and an 18-year-old local man has been arrested. Officers are trying to identify the other people involved.
A spokesman said: “The disorder predominantly involved the home supporters, with flares being set off and thrown into the crowd and onto the pitch.
“Officers believe that the flares were hidden inside the Turnbull Ground at some point before the match.
“Anyone who was at the match and witnessed the disorder is urged to contact North Yorkshire Police with information.
“In particular, officers would like to hear from anyone who filmed or took photos of the disorder.”
FC United won the EvoStik League Premier Division match 4-0 in front of a crowd of 810 people.
Whitby Town chairman Graham Manser said today: “It was totally the home fans, the FC United fans’ behaviour was exemplary.
“There was no fighting, there was such a big crowd. I thought they were smoke bombs but whatever they were they are still illegal.
“With a crowd of 810, a handful of idiots have ruined the night for everyone.
“We totally condemn it. We don’t normally see these people at our home games. Why they have come to cause trouble I don’t know.
“We are totally dismayed. We can’t understand it. We are totally backing the police and we don’t want these people at our home games.
“There was no animosity between our two sets of supporters. Some of our lads were just out of order.”
During the match football journalist Jim White posted a message saying: “Watching FC United at Whitby Town. Much enjoying the Whitby ultras. 50 young noisies lighting flares & generally misbehaving #properfootball.”
He later tweeted: “Whitby ultra being escorted out by a steward. May be the ring leader. Or maybe by the looks of him past his bed time.”
Anyone who was at the match and witnessed the disorder is urged to contact North Yorkshire Police with information.
If you have any footage, please send it via email to firstname.lastname@example.org
You can provide information about the disorder by calling North Yorkshire Police on 101 – select option 2 – and ask for Sgt Rebecca Lalor or Whitby police.
If you prefer not to give you name, Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously on 0800 555 111.