Saturday 21 April 2018

West Ham United co-chairman ‘hit by coin’ during fan riots against Burnley

West Ham United vice chairman Karren Brady and commentator John Motson in the stands. Action Images via Reuters/Peter Cziborra
West Ham United vice chairman Karren Brady and commentator John Motson in the stands. Action Images via Reuters/Peter Cziborra

Jack Austin

West Ham co-owner David Sullivan was struck by a coin during the fan protests at the London Stadium on Saturday, according to former striker and manager Trevor Brooking.

Both Sullivan and David Gold, along with many others in the directors' box, were instructed by stewards to leave as scenes turned toxic and violent during the 3-0 defeat at home to Burnley.

Referee Lee Mason was forced to consult both managers over whether to abandon the match at one point in the second-half, while the Burnley substitutes allowed several children to sit in their seats to escape fighting in the stands.

West Ham announced they had opened an inquiry into how so many fans were able to invade the pitch, with Mark Noble throwing one who approached him to the floor, while another was escorted off by James Collins after he stole the corner flag and waved it in the middle of the centre circle.

Speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live’s Sportsweek programme, Brooking said: “I think a coin did hit David Sullivan, his glasses. I didn't see it myself but I did have that confirmed, which was part of the reason why the people in the directors' box had to go inside to save any more problems like that.”

Brooking himself refused to leave the press box and cut a sorry figure as he sat alone watching the remainder of the game, surrounded by deserted seats belonging to directors.

“The actual level of aggression was something I couldn't believe West Ham fans would get involved with,” he added. “A lot of the stewards who are on duty on matchdays are not West Ham people - they're actually stadium people and sometimes until they get a job there haven't had any experience dealing with football crowds.

“They were quite young and couldn't deal with the aggression they were faced with.”

Independent News Service

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