Police and FA investigate after bloody brawl at Lancaster City football match

James Morley, father of the Ramsbottom co-manager, posted this photo of his injuries on Twitter.
James Morley, father of the Ramsbottom co-manager, posted this photo of his injuries on Twitter.

Bloodied fans were taken to hospital after a mass brawl erupted at a football match.

Two investigations are under way after three people needed treatment when punches flew at Lancaster City’s away clash against Radcliffe Borough.

Police were called as trouble flared when players, officials and supporters from neighbouring rival team Ramsbottom United turned up at the ground after their own game was postponed.

Lancaster supporters and the Ramsbottom group fought in the stands and at the side of the pitch.

Around 50 City supporters made the 56-mile trip to Radcliffe, Bury, for Saturday’s Evo-Stik Premier League First Division North fixture.

One of them, who did not wish to be named, said: “It began where the Ramsbottom playing staff were standing.

“One of the older Lancaster fans went to the toilet and he ended up in a verbal exchange which led to him being assaulted, which is why those who were involved moved round because he was outnumbered. The brawling lasted a couple of minutes.”

The fan, who was just 20 feet from the disturbance, said Ramsbottom players and officials arrived at Radcliffe half-way through the second-half and the trouble started about ten minutes from the end of the match.

Ramsbottom United could not be reached for comment but joint manager Anthony Johnson said on Twitter that no one from his club started any fighting.

He tweeted a picture of an injured man, understood to be the father of Ramsbottom co-manager Bernard Morley, who he said suffered a broken nose and fractured cheekbone after being attacked “with a weapon”.

Greater Manchester Police and the FA have launched separate investigations into the pitch-side ruckus, which halted the match for ten minutes.

In a video of the violence uploaded to YouTube, a man can be heard on the football ground’s public address system begging City fans to return to the main stand and orders the Ramsbottom group to leave the ground.

He said: “Thank you for disgracing Radcliffe Borough today. Please stop it. You’re making a right spectacle of yourselves.”

A spokesman for Greater Manchester Police said officers were called to Radcliffe Borough’s Stainton Park ground at around 4.40pm after reports of a brawl. He said enquiries were continuing and no arrests had been made.

An FA spokesman added: “We will be seeking observations from the relevant parties and studying video evidence.”

Lancaster City went on to win the match 4-1.

On its website, Lancaster City Football Club posted a statement which read: “An incident that occurred in the public area during the match at Radcliffe Borough last Saturday, March 22, is in the hands of the authorities and we are awaiting the outcome of enquiries, which will take account of evidence from all sides.”