Leaders criticise fans for spoiling promotion celebrations

Bury's goalkeeper Cameron Belford holds his head after being punched by a fan as he invaded the pitch during the npower football league match at the B2net Stadum, Chesterfield.
Bury's goalkeeper Cameron Belford holds his head after being punched by a fan as he invaded the pitch during the npower football league match at the B2net Stadum, Chesterfield.
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Fans involved in a pitch invasion in Chesterfield during which a player was attacked have been condemned for spoiling the town’s football club promotion celebrations.

Chesterfield FC won automatic promotion to League One on Friday and are in the running to be crowned champions at the end of the season.

A Chesterfield fan punches Bury's goalkeeper Cameron Belford as they invade the pitch during the npower football league match at the B2net Stadum, Chesterfield.

A Chesterfield fan punches Bury's goalkeeper Cameron Belford as they invade the pitch during the npower football league match at the B2net Stadum, Chesterfield.

But fans celebrating a goal during their team’s 3-2 defeat against Bury at the B2Net stadium on Monday invaded the pitch and attacked the goalkeeper.

They swarmed around 22-year-old Bury keeper Cameron Belford when he conceded a second goal, with some taunting and verbally abusing him.

He was also struck in the face during the incident, which was captured on cameras in the ground.

Two boys aged 13 and 16 and a 38-year-old man have been arrested over the invasion and are now on police bail pending further enquiries.

Officers are monitoring CCTV footage from the ground and liaising with club and ground officials about the incident.

Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins said today: “This season Chesterfield fans have won plaudits for the huge numbers they have turned out in to support their team so it is a real shame that a tiny minority would try to spoil that hard won reputation.

“This should be a time of celebration for Chesterfield and I hope that the team can still be promoted as champions and that the behaviour of a minority who have let themselves and their fellow fans down will not overshadow that.”

Chesterfield Council leader Coun Ray Russell said: “There is absolutely no place for this disgraceful behaviour in football, either on or off the pitch.

“Everyone should treat the players, management and fans with respect and enjoy the fantastic new stadium we have in Chesterfield.”

Mayor of Chesterfield Coun Keith Morgan added: “The town has not worked very hard over the past five years for a magnificent stadium, team and genuine club followers to have it ruined by a minority of so-called fans.

“I’m sure the police and the club will take the necessary steps to punish those involved and get the message across this abhorrent behaviour will not be tolerated in Chesterfield.”