Grim images of football violence twice came to the fore at the weekend after both Sheffield Wednesday and Luton fans went on the attack after seeing their teams fail to secure the results needed to satisfy their hardcore support.
The first flare up arrived at the end of Crystal Palace’s 2-all draw at Hillsborough on Sunday, which condemned the Owls to playing in League One next season. After the whistle blew, crazed Palace fans stormed the pitch after a season of financial torment to celebrate with their players, but that sparked an immediate and violent response from home Wednesday fans who were forced to lick their wounds as their team slumped into the third tier of English football.
After rival fans were caught scrapping all over the pitch, the police quickly moved to quell the unrest between the factions. However the flashpoint arrived several minutes later as Crystal Palace defender Clint Hill was set upon by Wednesday fans after he had been celebrating in front of the away fans and was attempting to return to the safety of the dressing room.
Hill came under a barrage of punches from local thugs before eventually being shepherded down the tunnel by a gaggle of stewards. However the angry Owls didn’t stop there as a gang of several hundred supporters then tried to force their way down the tunnel too before they were eventually repelled by local law enforcers.
Footage of the riots after Crystal Palace-Sheffield Wednesday, including the Hill attack, can be seen here.
And then on Monday night similar scenes broke out at Kenilworth Road after Luton fans watched York City win their Blue Square Premier play-off semi-final.
After York won 1-0 at Luton to capture a spot in the playoff final at Wembley, Hatters’ fans tried to get at the visiting players who were celebrating with their supporters on the pitch.
The Luton thugs fought with police and security staff and began hurling bottles and other objects at the York players, who needed protection to get back to the changing rooms.