Page last updated at 15:39 GMT, Friday, 16 May 2008 16:39 UK

Pc describes Uefa fan mob attack


New footage of Rangers fans attacking police officers

A police officer has said he was lucky to escape serious injury when he was attacked by a mob of Rangers fans.

Pc Mick Regan was kicked, punched and stamped on, as officers were pushed back by fans hurling bottles.

His comments come as a second video emerged showing fans rioting in Manchester city centre after the Uefa cup final on Wednesday evening.

BBC correspondent Adam Parsons said the new video, obtained from a viewer, showed indiscriminate violence.

He said the "horrendous scenes" showed police officers being caught up in the middle of the trouble.

Pc Regan said earlier the scenes after Rangers' defeat were the worst he had witnessed in 23 years with the Greater Manchester force.

The former Territorial Army soldier's ordeal was captured by police cameras following the violence which started after Wednesday's match.

Following the disturbances, Manchester United's planned homecoming parade after next week's Champions League final has been cancelled.

I feel lucky - whoever that Army lad was, he wants a medal
Pc Regan

Wednesday's trouble first flared in Piccadilly Gardens after a technical fault with a big screen left up to 20,000 fans frustrated.

Riot police were sent in as violent clashes broke out along nearby Market Street, Oldham Street and Newton Street.

Pc Regan, from Offerton, Stockport, was on duty for public order and not riot control, but said he sensed the mood was darkening as he listened to the police radio on the way in to the city.

"From the outset we were bombarded with bottles and cans as we tried to contain and disperse the crowd," he said.

"It was unbelievable when we got there - it was already in motion. It was frightening, on a different scale from any other match I have worked in my 23-year career."


Pc Mick Regan describes how one Rangers fan tried to help him

As the trouble wore on Pc Regan and a handful of colleagues found themselves being pushed down Newton Street by a mass of fans hurling bottles.

The officer said he got into trouble after being hit by a bottle from a distance of about 4ft which struck his elbow, then he found himself on the ground.

Pc Regan told BBC News: "The next thing I knew I was getting kicked in the body, on the legs.

I'd have been seriously injured... I knew I was going to get done over
Pc Regan

Asked if his attackers could have killed him, he replied: "I try not to think about that... I wouldn't say they were trying to kill me but I knew if they got me they'd have seriously injured me."

Pc Regan escaped with sore ribs and a puncture wound to his arm.

He said if it had not been for someone who pulled him away from the melee he would have been more seriously injured.

'Alcohol the problem'

"I saw two lads coming from my right; I thought they were going to have a go," he said.

"But one of them shouted at me saying, 'I'm British Army, I'm a medic'. He grabbed me by the collar and he propelled me up the street.

"If they had not come along at that point I'd have been in big trouble. I'd have been seriously injured. I knew I was going to get done over.

"I feel lucky; whoever that Army lad was, he wants a medal."

But despite the widespread condemnation of the Rangers fans, Pc Regan said many of the supporters he came across were "as good as gold".

Pc Regan told the BBC he felt alcohol was the cause of the biggest problems, especially among the hardcore who caused the trouble.

"Those particular people were just out to cause harm to any police officer. It could have been me - it could have been anybody," he added.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific