Manchester United fans sentenced after mass brawl that saw dozens of police officers attacked and one hospitalised

25 November 2022, 16:34

39 people have been sentenced
39 people have been sentenced. Picture: GMP

By Kit Heren

Dozens of Manchester United football fans have been sentenced after a protest descended into a mass brawl that led to a police officer being hospitalised with an injury to the face.

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The football supporters attacked 36 officers in total during the melee, which took place on May 2, 2021. Fans also caused more than £70,000 in property damage.

The violence started after fans gathered to protest against the Glazer family, the American owners of Manchester United, who have been controversial ever since they bought the club.

The demonstration outside the club's stadium Old Trafford, and central Manchester's Lowry Hotel, soon descended into chaos.

Shocking footage shows football fans attacking police

One group of fans forced their way onto the pitch and rooms in the stadium. They attacked officers with bottles, flares and safety barriers. Stadium stewards and security staff were also assaulted.

More police arrived and eventually broke up the crowds. Officers launched an investigation that has led to 39 people aged between 15 and 52 being sentenced for offences like assault, criminal damage and burglary.

Many fans have been slapped with football banning orders, preventing them from attending matches for a set period of time.

Fans attacking police
Fans attacking police. Picture: GMP

A top Manchester police officer said he hoped fans were "ashamed" of their violent actions.

Assistant Chief Constable Wasim Chaudhry said: “Our officers put their lives on the line every day to keep the people of Greater Manchester safe, and it is absolutely shameful that anyone would willingly assault an emergency worker. We simply will not tolerate this happening.

"This incident also happened in the midst of the pandemic, when our emergency services were already stretched trying to reach those who needed us the most.

Fans breaking through the barriers
Fans breaking through the barriers. Picture: GMP

“I hope these people feel ashamed of their actions and have some sense of remorse. I would like to add that GMP are fully aware that the majority of football supporters act in a respectful manner, and we thank those people.

“We want to see the public out supporting their teams and having an enjoyable experience and our dedicated football officers work closely with our local clubs, partner agencies and supporter groups to promote this happening”.

Chief Constable Mark Roberts, National Police Chief Council (NPCC) Lead for Football Policing, said: “This was a major investigation by GMP into serious disorder.  It underlines the draw on police resources to undertake these investigations in addition to the operational deployments required on the day. 

“This should serve as a warning to those who can’t behave at football matches, regardless of the reason.”

Another two defendants are due to appear before the courts in December 2022 and April 2023.

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