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Last Updated: Monday, 1 December, 2003, 17:25 GMT
Football fireworks face possible ban
Denise Butler after leaving hospital
Mrs Butler's case has led to talk of a possible ban on such displays

The Football Association is investigating whether to ban pre-match firework displays at football grounds after a woman was injured at a Premiership game.

Wolverhampton Wanderers fan Denise Butler, 38, was released from hospital on Monday after being hit in the face with an exploding firework as she took her seat at the Molineux ground on Saturday.

The firework was let off in the centre circle as part of a regular display before home ties.

But it shot sideways off the pitch and flew into the lower tier of the Billy Wright stand where Mrs Butler, a season ticket holder, was sitting with her 11-year-old son Luke.

Speaking to BBC Midlands Today at her home on Monday, Mrs Butler said: "I saw this flash and a lot of blood and I just remember screaming.

"It could have been my son.

"I was in the family enclosure and it could have been any child there."

Display banned

Mrs Butler, from Telford in Shropshire, was discharged from Wolverhampton's New Cross Hospital after treatment for severe facial lacerations suffered before the match against Newcastle.

Seven other fans were also treated for injuries.

It appears that a comet star pyrotechnic effect fired horizontally instead of vertically and we cannot be sure why that has happened.
Chris Pearce
Jubilee Fireworks
An FA spokesman said: "The FA will be communicating with the Football Licensing Authority and the Premier League to look at the issue of whether or not it's right to carry on with these displays."

Jez Moxey, chief executive of Wolves, has already said that such displays will be banned at the club following the incident.

Mr Moxey visited Mrs Butler on Saturday night and club chairman Sir Jack Hayward has also spoken to her on the telephone.

On the club's official website Mr Moxey said: "The manager Dave Jones and the team also want to pay Denise a visit when she is feeling up to it.

The victim being taken from the ground
Denise Butler could be permanently scarred

"She is a big Wolves fan, having supported the club for 30 years and told me she would really like to meet the players, especially Paul Ince."

Chris Pearce, managing director of Midlands-based Jubilee Fireworks who have organised the events at Molineux for the last two years, said: "An inquiry is taking place as we speak and our concerns are for the lady who was injured.

"It appears that a comet star pyrotechnic effect fired horizontally instead of vertically and we cannot be sure why that has happened."

Mrs Butler's husband, Martyn, who was not at the match, said he was not angry that the pre-match display had injured his wife.

"It was just an unfortunate accident. It is just one of those things.

"I'm more concerned about the injury to Denise at the moment.

"We don't know whether there is going to be a permanent scar."




SEE ALSO:
Firework injury fan goes home
01 Dec 03  |  West Midlands
Wolves hold Newcastle
29 Nov 03  |  Eng Prem
Missile thrown at football match
11 Feb 03  |  England


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