Police are continuing investigations into crowd disturbances at Atherstone Town’s FA Cup third qualifying round match at home to Barrow yesterday.
Warwickshire Police have confirmed that one man was injured when scuffles broke out on the pitch and in the stands at half time, with the home side losing 4-0 to their higher league opponents. Reports suggest an elderly man was punched in the face, but did not require medical treatment.
Smoke bombs were also let off at in the ground during the match, and players from both sides were caught up in the trouble. A Barrow flag was also set on fire.
Officers are urging anyone who witnessed the events to come forward to help their investigations, and are asking for photographs or video footage that might help identify people involved. They are already working with the club to determine the circumstances that led to the trouble.
Atherstone Town have ‘unreservedly apologised’ for the crowd trouble that took place in yesterday’s FA Cup 3rd qualifying round defeat to Barrow.
In a statement on the club website, they say ‘all precautions were taken’ ahead of the match, but it was ‘ruined by the behaviour of a small minority of mindless idiots’.
The full statement reads:
"Atherstone Town's progression into the 3rd qualifying round of the FA Cup has been a great footballing and Club achievement. All those genuinely associated with the Club should be proud."
"Today we welcomed Conference North side, Barrow. Eventually the gulf in leagues told and Barrow were worthy winners. What should have been a great day for all was ruined by the behaviour of a small minority of mindless idiots."
"All precautions were taken and risks mitigated prior to the match. A professional squad of stewards and the Police were involved in a series of preparation meetings held with Club officials. All health and safety issues and obligations were addressed."
"We will be working closely with the Police and any other authorities to identify and if possible help bring prosecutions against those involved."
"Atherstone Town is a family Club and we will be working hard to rebuild our good reputation.We unreservedly apologise to any fan who had to witness the totally unacceptable scenes and behaviour."
"Although the Barrow Directors, management team and most supporters understood that it was a mindless minority, Atherstone Town would like to apologise and of course, wish them well in the next round and for the rest of the season. This is not what Atherstone Town stand for nor operate as a Club."
The families of four firefighters killed tackling a blaze at a vegetable packing plant in Atherstone-on-Stour in 2007, say they'll fight a coroner's decision not to carry out a full inquest into their deaths.
Mandy Baylis's son Darren Yates Badley died in the fire. She's appalled by the coroner's ruling earlier today, and may challenge the decision in the high court.t