Sheffield Steelers coach being spat at and pelted with coins described as an "isolated incident"

Paul Thompson - image by Dean Woolley
Paul Thompson - image by Dean Woolley
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The Elite League will not consider repositioning fans at future Play Off finals despite Sheffield Steelers' coach being spat at on Sunday.

Team boss Paul Thompson was coaching from the bench as his side beat Cardiff Devils to win the Elite League play-offs.

However, the match was allegedly marred by unsavoury incidents as troublemakers spat at Thompson and pelted the bench with coins, from a seating area above.

After the game, Thompson said it was disappointing to come away with his suit "covered in spit and coins thrown on the bench".

However, despite the unpleasant scenes, Elite League chairman Tony Smith and Steelers owner, said he would not be considering repositioning fans in the future, describing it as an "isolated incident."

He said: "It's an ice hockey game and like Rugby the fans mix very well.

"There's very few, if any of these incidents.

"I spoke to security about it and it's an isolated incident. In hockey, fans mix very well and it's something that will not happen in the future.

"We have been running these play offs for 12 years and this is the first time that anything like this has happened."

Mr Smith said he understood that Thompson was "a bit upset" at the time but realised that it was "just one idiot fan who couldn't hold his emotions back".

Although Thompson had said that coins had been thrown at the bench on both Saturday and Sundays matches.

He said: "There are 7,300 fans in that stadium. If it is just one single fan that sparks something like this then we will deal with it going forward. But 99 per cent are true hockey fans.

"With football, you have to put up with the segregation of fans. But, in hockey, fans mix and mingle as the best of friends. "

There's no animosity and there's no hate campaign. They are always welcome in an ice hockey rink and that will always be the case."