A 60-year-old Millwall fan is in hospital in Birmingham after being attacked before a match in the city, which he’d travelled to with his family. The man, from London, was due to watch his team play Birmingham City when he was assaulted on Cattell Road, near St Andrews stadium.
The attack took place shortly before 3pm on Saturday (April 23). As a large policing operation was taking place in the area before the match, police were quick on the scene to care for the man before he was taken to hospital. West Midlands Police described his injuries as ‘serious’ and said they are working to support his family. He remained in hospital on Sunday (April 24).
A 30-year-old from Smethwick, West Midlands, was arrested and held on suspicion of a Section 18 assault. On Sunday police said he had been released on bail. The motive of the attack is unknown, police said.
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An investigation is under way and Birmingham Police said they have spoken to witnesses, reviewed CCTV footage and forensically examined the area. Anyone who witnessed what happened is asked to get in contact with West Midlands Police.
There were also reports of violence in the stadium during the game. Five more people were arrested following the match after reports that “bricks, bottles and objects were used as weapons”.
A spokesperson from Millwall Football Club said: “The club is assisting the police and other authorities with their investigation into disorder involving both sets of supporters following the conclusion of Saturday’s game. Any individual found guilty of such offences will receive an indefinite ban from home and away matches.”
In a statement, West Midlands Police said: “The level of violence – which our officers put themselves in the middle of to protect people – meant some of our officers had to wear public order helmets, use shields and draw their batons, while continually warning people to move away.
“We understand how the scene may have scared people who had nothing to do with the violence. Bricks, bottles and objects were used as weapons in the hotspots around Digbeth and other areas between the stadium and New Street railway station.
“Our Football Policing Unit and detectives from Force CID have opened a joint investigation. They are working closely with both football clubs and supporter groups. More arrests will come in the following weeks meaning anyone involved should immediately go to their local police station to explain what happened.”
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