Fans clash at Steel City Derby - PICTURES

BATON-WIELDING police officers stormed the crowd at Sheffield's second Steel City Derby of the season when rival fans clashed in the stands.

Police were forced to act when trouble erupted in the Valad stand at Bramall Lane within minutes of Sheffield Wednesday scoring their second goal of the game and going 2-0 up.

Stewards tried to intervene and split up rival fans but called for police back-up when punches continued to fly.

It is believed Wednesday fans unable to get tickets for the away end of the ground sneaked in with United fans and were caught out when their team scored.

One fan was left covered in blood from a huge gash to his head and officers were seen removing fans from the stand to try to stem the violence.

Minutes later trouble erupted on the Kop and again police had to intervene, followed moments later by a minor skirmish on the lower tier of the away end where United fans were.

One United fan, aged 27, said: "It looked like some Wednesday fans had got tickets to sit with the Blades fans, probably because the away ticket allocation was so low.

"They must have been caught out after the second goal went in because that's when it all seemed to kick off.

"The most serious trouble seemed to be in the Valad stand, where the stewards went in first but must have called for back up because the police then raced up to join them with their batons.

"Things calmed down by the end and I didn't see any trouble after the game."

South Yorkshire Police said there were eight arrests for public disorder incidents.

Chief Superintendent Jon House, District Commander for Sheffield, said: "The majority of the 30,000 fans at the game were passionate about the football and enjoyed the game in a peaceful way, however a small number of Wednesday fans had got into the United end and were recognised as such.

"They should not have been there and as such they were at risk and so too were other members of the public so we had to deploy officers to get them out.

"Deploying into large crowds is not something we like to do as it puts officers at risk and members of the public if situations develop and on this occasion officers were injured.

"Some people may have viewed the police reaction as heavy handedness however this was crowd safety issue and the Wednesday fans were ejected to prevent any further problems."


Honours even: Click here for Match report and full photo slideshow.

Owls thwarted by late free-kick: Read James Shield's derby verdict.

Both sets of fans left wanting more: Read Paul Thompson on the Steel City Derby.

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