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Last Updated: Wednesday, 23 February, 2005, 09:13 GMT
Football fans attacked after game
Buses carrying football supporters have been attacked with stones after a match between Derry City and Belfast team Linfield.

Six buses carrying Linfield fans were damaged as they left the Brandywell grounds in Londonderry on Tuesday.

No one was seriously injured but ten people suffered shock. Police called the attack reckless and irresponsible.

Jim Roddy, the outgoing chairman of Derry City FC, said a small number of people had spoiled a great night.

"The Linfield fans came to the Brandywell and they behaved impeccably, they were a credit to their club, and everything was going so, so well until these people tried to spoil the whole thing for us," he said.

A bus driver, who did not want to be identified, said it was "disgraceful".

"I was just driving along when a boy threw something at the window, I've no idea what he threw. I was trying to just drive to get out of there, but something hit the window," he said.

"He just threw it from the footpath. Glass was all round there, a few specks of it hit my face," he said.

It is regrettable the game will more than likely be remembered for the events which occurred after it
Chief Superintendent
Richard Russell

Chief Superintendent Richard Russell condemned those who attacked the buses.

"I am extremely disappointed that the mindless actions of a few spoiled what had been a mainly trouble free event," he said.

"It is regrettable the game will more than likely be remembered for the events which occurred after it."

It was the first time the two teams had met at the Brandywell in 36 years.

Chairman of the First Londonderry Linfield Supporters Club Trevor Roulston said the problems only began after the match.

"Just coming out of Anne Street, the first row of bricks the buses and every bus that came out past us then was also attacked," he said.

"There was actually young girls and children on the bus and they were screaming. We were supposed to be going there for a game of football, we weren't expecting this."

There was no police presence inside the ground, but both teams had stewards on duty for the game.

A number of times during the match, fireworks were thrown at the Linfield goalkeeper from outside the stadium. However, there were no major problems inside the ground.

It was only as Linfield supporters left that trouble flared with fireworks and stones being thrown at them on the mainly nationalist Foyle Road.

BBC NI's Aideen McLaughlin:
"A major security operation had been put in place but it did not prevent youths attacking the buses."

Derry City 1-1 Linfield
22 Feb 05 |  Irish

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