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Amateur Wigan team invited to play at St James' Park

An amateur team 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 St James' Park in Newcastle.

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

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.

Newcastle United have now 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 20 May.