Football fans urged to shop S Yorks hooligans

The flare on the pitch at Loftus Road.
The flare on the pitch at Loftus Road.

Police have condemned a ‘nucleus’ of South Yorkshire football hooligans who pelted officers with bricks and bottles.

Officers had missiles hurled at them after Rotherham United beat Sheffield Wednesday 2-1 in the League Cup on Tuesday.

Chief Inspector Caroline Rollitt, who oversees policing at football games, said a ‘core nucleus of about 30’ Rotherham supporters were involved in the violence, which lasted up to 10 minutes.

She said the gang were now following the Millers – and were involved in clashes with rival fans when their team played Burton Albion and Chesterfield last season.

Police are now trawling CCTV footage of the latest disturbance, which happened on Main Street and near the railway station, and two arrests have been made so far.

Chf Insp Rollitt said: “Rotherham is a family club, but what we saw at the end of last season – and what is rearing its head again this season – is a nucleus of about 30 lads who follow Rotherham, with the intention of violence.

“We have investigations ongoing into the disorder at Burton and Chesterfield and some of that core group have been and will be arrested.

“The group decided to come out in force on Tuesday, but we stopped them getting to the Wednesday fans, so they turned their attention on us and started throwing bricks and other missiles.

“This group is risking the reputation of Rotherham United, so our message to other fans is come forward with information and we will act.”

The appeal comes as two Wednesday fans were banned from all Owls matches after being arrested when a flare was thrown on to the pitch.

Last Saturday’s match at Queens Park Rangers was held up for several minutes while the flare was cleared.

A 17-year-old from Kilnhurst, who admitted throwing the flare, was given a youth reprimand by Metropolitan Police officers, while a 19-year-old from Mexborough was released without charge. His ban will be reviewed.