Owls fan cautioned by police after pitch fracas

A furious row at the end of Saturdays match between Owls fans and Brighton stewards. Pic Steve Ellis.

A furious row at the end of Saturdays match between Owls fans and Brighton stewards. Pic Steve Ellis.

  • by Mike Russell

A Sheffield Wednesday fan has been cautioned by police after being arrested for going on to the pitch after the Owls win at Brighton.

The 20-year-old was tackled to the ground by stewards after going on to the pitch to celebrate after the 1-0 victory.

A Sussex Police spokesman said today: “A 20-year-old man from Pontefract was arrested on suspicion of going on to the playing area at a football match after the final whistle at Brighton and Hove Albion v Sheffield Wednesday at the American Express Community Stadium at Falmer on Saturday.

“He was taken into custody at Brighton and cautioned shortly after 6.30pm.”

Fans of Sheffield Wednesday had accused stewards at Brighton of over-reacting after four of them tackled the supporter.

Several Owls players including Jose Semedo and Gary Madine intervened and appealed for calm after away supporters reacted with anger to the incident which came at the end of Wednesday’s 1-0 win in Brighton on Saturday.

One fan said: “The force was outrageous. The lad had been caught and they still went and rugby tackled him.”

Another said the fan had a large graze on his back as he was being led away.

Dom Howson, The Star’s Owls reporter, said it appeared the fan had run onto the pitch to celebrate and was caught and rugby tackled by four stewards in front of 2,000 Owls fans.

He said: “They manhandled him and it looked rather over-zealous, they certainly roughed him up.

“He was celebrating, running around behind the goal and one of the stewards looked peeved as he managed to run right past him.”

Other fans said the supporter could hardly complain as invading the pitch area was an arrestable offence.

Referring to an incident two seasons ago when a Leeds fan invaded the pitch and attacked the Owls goalkeeper, one said: “The stewards can’t win because the alternative is potentially what we saw with that idiot who hit Chris Kirkland.”

A Wednesday spokesman said the club’s safety officer would be contacting his counterpart at Brighton on Monday to discuss the matter.

No-one from Brighton FC was available to comment.





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