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Last Updated: Sunday, 19 November 2006, 14:05 GMT
Crossbow bolt fired onto pitch
A football match was abandoned when a steel crossbow bolt was fired onto a pitch in Greater Manchester.

The game between Woodley Sports and Alsager Town at Lambeth Stadium, Stockport, was stopped when the bolt, or arrow, landed next to players.

The referee pulled it out of the ground and consulted both managers and players before calling off the game on Saturday, 12 minutes before the end.

The bolt is believed to have been fired from outside the ground.

BBC Radio Stoke's sports editor Graham McGarry, who was at the match, said the bolt landed on the artificial pitch after whistling just inches past the left full back of Woodley Sports.

No hesitation

"This was a serious incident and could have been a tragedy," said Mr McGarry, who is also chairman of Alsager Town.

"The referee came to the penalty area, pulled out something from the ground, that we all thought was a firework.

"He consulted both managers and the players and immediately abandoned the game.

"He had no hesitation calling the game off for the safety of the players and the spectators watching."

The bolt has been passed onto police for forensic examination and detectives are appealing for anyone with information about the incident to get in touch.

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