Four men arrested after hearse driven onto Gateshead football pitch

The hearse was abandoned on the pitch at Dunston UTS. Credit: NCJ Media

Four men have been arrested following a disturbance during a football match in Gateshead on Friday evening.

Spectators were left shocked as two cars, including a hearse, were driven onto the pitch.

The vehicles were brought onto the field at half time in a friendly between Dunston UTS and Gateshead FC.

They were driven in circles before a number of leaflets were left.

The drivers of the hearse, wearing masks, then abandoned it and climbed into the other car before making off through the gates.

The referee took the decision to abandon the game, at a stage where the sides were tied at 1-1.

Three men, aged 19, 19 and 32 were arrested on suspicion of affray. Another man, aged 41 was arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit criminal damage. The men remain in police custody.

Police will remain in the area throughout the weekend – and those with concerns are encouraged to speak with an officer on duty.

They are also urging anyone with information or footage, who has not yet spoken to them to get in touch.

Tyre tracks at Dunston UTS FC. Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

In a statement, Dunston UTS FC said it was "deeply saddened" by the incident.

The club said: "Thankfully nobody was physically hurt or injured. The club would like to put on record that one individual named on the leaflets distributed during the pitch invasion has had no connection with Dunston UTS FC, in any official capacity, for over 2 years.

"The other individual has no connection with our club whatsoever. We stress we are a family orientated community club, and apologise for any distress felt by our supporters and visitors, particularly the younger fans.

"We will be working as hard as ever to repair the damage caused to our pitch and perimeter fencing and look forward to the forthcoming season.

"At this point as it is a live investigation the club will be making no further comments."

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