1. ITV Report

Wigan amateur team to play at Newcastle United's ground

General view of St James' Park, Newcastle Photo: Steve Drew/EMPICS Sport

An amateur team from Wigan whose match was abandoned when hundreds of fans heading for a Premier League game wrecked nets and stole their ball have been invited to play a game at one of the biggest grounds in the country.

Newcastle United made the gesture to Wigan Cosmos, of the South Lancashire Counties League, after supporters got off coaches and caused trouble before their controversial clash with Wigan Athletic on March 17.

The minnows, whose players pay for the pleasure of turning out, were left around £200 out of pocket after nets were damaged by fans who had just got off coaches.

They also climbed on the goalposts and someone stole a match ball costing £65.

When Cosmos issued a statement about the trouble, fans of Newcastle United held a whip-round to cover the cost of the damage, and the club offered to pay for any losses.

Wigan Athletic also invited the amateurs for a trip round the DW Stadium and gave them a ball and £200.

Now Newcastle United have invited Cosmos to play a match at their 52,000-capacity St James' Park stadium. The Lancashire team will play a team made up of United's admin staff on May 20.

A Cosmos official tweeted: "We never asked for this to happen, we only wanted to be reimbursed by the club.

"The fans have been magnificent, then NUFC made this kind offer which we were honoured to accept."

Newcastle's trip to Wigan ended in a 2-1 loss and an injury to left back Massadio Haidara following a tackle by Callum McManaman.

The young Frenchman was stretchered off after the Wigan striker's challenge, which has been widely condemned but which has not been punished by the FA.