Chaotic scenes as Stourbridge v Halesowen charity match halted after trouble erupts

A charity football match between Stourbridge and Halesowen Town football clubs was abandoned amid chaotic scenes when trouble erupted.

Footage uploaded to Twitter by @AnuMCFC purportedly shows red smoke in the stands.
Footage uploaded to Twitter by @AnuMCFC purportedly shows red smoke in the stands.

Smoke bombs being let off, flares thrown in the stands resulting in at least one fan being struck in the face were among the incidents at the Charity Shield second leg game held at the War Memorial Athletic Ground in Amblecote on Thursday night. There were also reports of fighting between young rival fans afterwards.

Both teams took to social media to announce that the game was off when it was halted at half-time with Stourbridge leading 2-0 in the Brookes-Clark Shield.

Stourbridge posted: "Tonight's game has been called off on Police Advice!"

In statement West Midlands Police said: "We're investigating after disorder sparked during and after the Stourbridge and Halesowen match last night (21 July).

"Flares were launched between fans and onto the pitch, while we also received reports of drink containers being thrown. We had an unconfirmed report of someone with a knife.

"There were also pockets of fighting outside the ground after the game ended prematurely in totally unacceptable scenes. We're aware of at least three people being hurt on the evening and it's just fortunate no-one was seriously injured.

"We spoke to home club officials - who were responsible for security at the fixture - after the trouble started to consider whether all supporter safety would be comprised if the match continued. It was decided the fixture should be abandoned.

"We're now reviewing all available information and footage."

Halesowen Town posted on social media network Twitter: "Due to crowd disturbances the game has been abandoned, please make your way home safely."

Stourbridge Football Club Ground

In a joint statement the clubs said: "Both clubs wish to confirm in the strongest possible terms, our joint dismay and utter frustration at the abandonment of last nights Brookes-Clark Charity Shield 2nd leg friendly. The safety of players, management, match and club officials, our volunteers, stewards and staff is of paramount importance to us as clubs, but the behaviour of a small minority of the juvenile section of the crowd meant this was no longer possible, despite repeated requests for calm.

"We would like to apologise to the genuine supporters of both clubs for the decision taken, but despite the best efforts of both Clubs over recent years, there appears to be a section of people who insist on causing disruption at these fixtures, who do not attend any other fixture played by either club.

"Both Clubs will now talk about how the format of the Brookes-Clark Shield can potentially work in future."

Meanwhile overnight irate fans from both sides also tweeted their views over what happened.

@Andrewdanylys90 posted: "@StourbridgeFC Can you imagine going into a supermarket or restaurant or leisure centre and behaving like this??? More people should face criminal charges for behaviour of this nature. People are just coming coming to do their job and face this behaviour."

Matt Hand posted: "Halesowen never have these problems do they? The game was fine on Saturday. Easy to blame the police but we should be looking closer to home."

David Herrington posted: "Once more. Permanent ban for all fans involved in any engagement with Halesowen, but risk management approach is not working. Suggest a better operational safety review is required. If you need help just ask."

Halesowen fan, Anu Boswell posted a video appearing to show a flare being thrown in the stadium.

He told Express & Star: "It was an absolute shambles going to a charity game. It was ridiculous.

"When the season starts, you won't get these fans."

Witnesses and anyone with information should contact West Midlands Police via the website and quote log 2941 of 21 July.

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