Sheffield Blades hunted over violence

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Detectives have released photographs of 16 Sheffield United fans they want to trace after violence flared at Wembley when the Blades played Hull City in the FA Cup semi-final.

Metropolitan Police want to identify the fans in the hope they can provide vital information about what happened when around 30,000 Sheffield United fans travelled to Wembley for the semi-final against Hull City on Sunday, April 13.

Violence erupted among Sheffield United supporters during the second half of the game, which Hull won 5-3 when two separate incidents broke out.

In the first, at around 5.05pm, fighting broke out between a group of men in the upper tier of the south west stand.

One man was injured when he was attacked by one of the suspects and bundled over several rows of seating.

Another man who came over to help the victim was also assaulted.

The second incident occurred in the first tier of the north west stand just five minutes later, when a man appeared to spit at stewards as they escorted a disorderly supporter from the stadium. Another mass brawl then broke out.

Detective Inspector Dave Birrell, from the Met’s Public Order Investigations Team, said: “These incidents quickly escalated from verbal disagreements into a full-on fight, with several men throwing punches and kicking out.

“Football is a family game, children are often inside the ground, and violence like this is wholly unacceptable.

“We will pursue those responsible and we will bring them to justice.

“We are keen to hear from any Sheffield United supporters sitting near either of these incidents who may recognise any of the men pictured.”

Anyone who recognises any of the men can call officers from Operation Arrowtip – the Met’s response to football-related disorder – on 0208 2469386.

Crimestoppers can also be contacted anonymously on 0800 555111.