Police warning to fans for sell-out game

POLICE have issued a no-nonsense warning that violence will not be tolerated as the build up begins to one of Colchester United's biggest games of the season.

James Hore

POLICE have issued a no-nonsense warning that violence will not be tolerated as the build up begins to one of Colchester United's biggest games of the season.

The hard-hitting message came from Chief Superintendent Tim Newcomb ahead of the U's League One clash with former football giants Leeds United.

Last night the club confirmed Saturday's game had become the first league fixture to completely sell at the 10,000-seat Weston Homes Community Stadium.


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Extra, segregated, buses will be laid on for the travelling fans to transport them from town to the ground as the U's look to build on this week's away victory against promotion-chasing Millwall.

A high-profile police presence will be visible throughout the town centre and at the ground.

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Ch Supt Newcomb said fans and families would be welcome at the game, but warned officers would crack-down on any hooligans.

He said: “If there is anyone there who is intent on causing trouble, it will not be tolerated and will be dealt with really robustly.

“We have an extremely low tolerance of poor behaviour at matches.

“We are not expecting big problems at the weekend, but that does not mean that we will be complacent and we want to keep the Weston Homes Community Stadium as a family friendly venue in keeping with the club's aims.”

He said residents could expect to see a high-profile policing operation in the town centre, but said officers aimed to minimise disruption on the day.

“If people are believed to be drunk, they will not be allowed access to the stadium and poor behaviour in the town prior to the game or around the ground will not be allowed,” he added.

Matt Hudson, media manager at Colchester United, confirmed to the EADT that the game had become the first league fixture to sell out, beating the previous best of 8,651 when the U's played Essex neighbours Southend earlier this year.

He said: “The ticket office has just called me and confirmed the game has sold out.

“It is one of the games that there is a lot of interest in and the sort of game that the stadium was built for.

“It is three-and-a-half thousand more people than we could get into Layer Road and shows the potential the ground has for this kind of football.”

He said he hoped the extra fans on Saturday would enjoy the experience enough to come to other games in the final weeks of this season and next season.

james.hore@eadt.co.uk

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