independent

Monday 21 April 2014

Nine people charged following trouble at Manchester derby

Greater Manchester Police today confirmed nine people had been charged in connection with trouble at yesterday's Manchester derby.

Trouble flared after Manchester United's last-gasp winner in their 3-2 Barclays Premier League away victory when Rio Ferdinand was hit above the left eye by a two-pence coin thrown from the crowd as the team celebrated.



With blood pouring down his face, there was more controversy when a Manchester City supporter ran on to the pitch to confront Ferdinand.



Among the charges faced by the nine people are racially aggravated public order and pitch encroachment.



Police are still hunting for the person who threw the coin.



Football Association chairman David Bernstein this morning condemned the attacks on Ferdinand and called for life bans for the culprits.



He told Sky Sports News: "It is deplorable to see those incidents and to see Rio Ferdinand with blood on his face is absolutely terrible."



"I think it's disturbing that we're seeing a recurrence of these types of incidents. We've had racial abuse issues, the odd pitch incursion, things being thrown at players - it's very unacceptable and has to be dealt with severely.



"To my mind it's for the FA, the whole game of football and the authorities to work together to deal with this most severe matter.



"I believe that if necessary these people need to go to the court and be banned for life, if they're found out."



The following people were charged:



Peter Harrison, 30, of Springfield Road, Kearsley, Bolton, was charged with a racially aggravated public order offence.



Matthew Stott, 21, of Southfields, Knutsford, and Christopher Johnson, 52, of Ancoats Lane, Alderley Edge, were charged with pitch encroachment.



Warren Singh, 19, of Oakdale Drive, Heald Green, Stockport, was charged with a public order offence.



Sam Weatherby, 21, of Grant Street, Farnworth, Bolton, and Philip O'Leary, 24, of Heysbank Road, Disley, Stockport, were each charged with breaching football banning orders.



Christopher O'Neil, 21, of Swainsthorpe Drive, Manchester, Andrew Martin, 20, of Northdale Drive, and Nicholas Morley, 21, of Chapel Lane, both Blackley, were all charged with being drunk and disorderly.



All are due before Manchester City Magistrates' Court on January 4.



Four other arrests were made.



A 50-year-old man arrested for ticket touting was released without charge, a 45-year-old man was summonsed over a racially aggravated public order offence, an 18-year-old woman was cautioned for being drunk and disorderly and a 33-year-old man remains in police custody after being arrested on suspicion of possessing a class A drug.



Police are continuing to work with City to identify the offender who threw the coin at Ferdinand, a police spokesman said.



Chief Inspector Steve Howard added: "To have just 13 arrests for a crowd of this size and a match of this proportion is a testament to the policing operation we put in place.



"Despite fierce rivalry and high tension there was no major disorder. However, we will continue to investigate the coin-throwing incident and are determined to work with the club to bring the perpetrator to justice."

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