FIGHTING between Southport and Blackpool supporters marred the Port’s opening pre-season friendly last Saturday at Haig Avenue.
Trouble flared on the half hour mark between the two sets of fans stood at the side of the pitch and the referee was forced to stop the match as some players ran over to try and calm the situation.
Social media footage from the incident, which has been seen by the Champion, shows a piece of metal fencing thrown in the direction of one supporter before a group of young Southport fans run away.
Merseyside Police has launched an investigation into the incident and say they are working with Southport FC to identify the people involved on Saturday, July 2.
Chief Inspector Matthew Moscrop said: “Our message to the small minority of fans intent on carrying out disorder at any match is that such behaviour is unacceptable and will simply not be tolerated.
“We can and do identify those responsible for such incidents and can issue a range of sanctions, including Banning Orders.
“We will be working closely with both clubs to investigate this disturbamce and I want to thank the vast majority of supporters who attended the game in good spirits.
“I would ask anyone who witnessed anything or anyone with information to come forward and we will take appropriate action.”
A Southport supporter and Champion reader who was at the match wants those involved to be given a ban.
He refers to the young Southport fans as ‘The Jack Carr Lads’, which is believed to be what some sets of Port supporters call themselves.
He said: “What a pity that the game, played in glorious sunshine, was ruined by the antics of the idiots who refer to themselves as ‘The Jack Carr Lads’.
“Clearly having no interest in supporting the team, they proceeded to provoke and abuse a section of the visiting supporters who contributed to a wonderfully noisy, atmospheric opening period of play.
“These ‘lads’ should be ashamed of bringing our club and our town into disrepute and insult the efforts of the staff and volunteers who run Southport FC.
“We do not need such ‘supporters’. I am sure that the stewards know who the ring-leaders are so imposing bans on them would be straightforward and welcome by those of us who go on a Saturday simply to watch the football.”
A spokesperson for Southport FC said: “Following the events at the pre-season friendly against Blackpool, this is now a police matter. Accordingly, we are working with Merseyside Police and assisting in any way we can to enable its officers to complete their investigation and instigate criminal proceedings, where deemed appropriate by the police, as quickly as possible. The club will be making no further comment whilst this investigation is ongoing.”
If you have any footage or information about this incident, you can DM the police on social media desk on Twitter @MerPolCC or Facebook ‘Merseyside Police Contact Centre’ with reference 22000466789.