Football fan assaulted during game

A YOUNG soccer fan has told of the terrifying moments he was repeatedly kicked in the head by rival fans during an unprovoked attack that left him needing hospital treatment.

A YOUNG soccer fan has told of the terrifying moments he was repeatedly kicked in the head by rival fans during an unprovoked attack that left him needing hospital treatment.

Shane Watson, 20, travelled to Bromley in Kent on Saturday to watch his beloved AFC Sudbury take on Cray Wanderers in the quarter-finals of the FA Vase, non-league football's most prestigious competition.

But his day out ended in disaster when up to three rival fans pushed him to the ground and repeatedly kicked him until he was almost unconscious on the ground. He also missed the rest of game which saw his team progress into the semi-final for the second year running.

He said: "At the time it was terrifying, I just didn't know what was going on. I only went to support my team, not get into a fight. One minute I was watching the game, the next thing I was on the floor with people standing around kicking me."

The ugly scenes erupted in the second-half of the cup clash after Shane and group of Sudbury supporters swapped ends to stand behind the goal their team was attacking. It seems some home supporters took exception to the arrival of the Suffolk supporters and words were exchanged and a scuffle broke out.

The match was halted for nearly 15 minutes after Shane was seen lying on the floor bleeding from a head wound. The Sudbury team's physio put a bandage around his head and he was then treated by paramedics in the Kent club's first-aid room.

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An ambulance was called and Shane was taken to the Princes Royal Hospital, Farnborough where medical staff treated the cut in his head. Police officers were called to the ground but no arrests were made.

Recovering at his Chelsea Road home, Sudbury, he said: "At half time we changed ends like we do at every match, we didn't do this looking for trouble it is something that just happens in non-league football. Some of the home fans started having a go at the Sudbury supporters and then a steward threw one of our fans out of the ground.

"I asked the steward why this had happened and the next thing I now I was being repeatedly kicked on the floor.

"I can't remember much else accept for waking up on the terraces with a bandage around my head, I think I must have been knocked unconscious.

"My friends said that when I was talking to the steward three men just jumped me and started kicking me. I don't think they were real Cray fans, I think they were just idiots looking for a fight.

"I am feeling OK now, but it was frightening at the time. I hope they find the people responsible and punish them. I hope they get banned from all football matches in the future."

Despite his ordeal Shane, who watches nearly all AFC Sudbury games, said he would not let the incident stop him from watching his team.

"I am not going to let idiots like this stop me from going to watch a good game of football," he said.

AFC Sudbury director Danny Crosbie said the club will investigating the incident.

He said: "This incident was not provoked by Sudbury supporters, from what we have been told the trouble-makers were not real Cray supporters either.

"Official at Cray were fantastic and could not have done more to help when the incident happened. "There were 771 people at this game and I am concerned why there was no police presence at a game of this size and importance. We will now follow all standard procedures to see what action we feel is necessary."

No comment was available from Cray Wanderers last night, but Bromley police have launched an investigation into the incident.

A Scotland Yard spokesman said: "Officer from Bromley police were called to the ground to reports of disturbances in the crowd. They found one man injured after he had been kicked in the head. We are now investigating the matter as a common assault."

No one was available last night at the Football Association.

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