Footballers attacked with bar and sticks

Savile Park, Halifax.
Savile Park, Halifax.

Amateur football players were attacked with a metal bar and sticks after the final whistle.

King Cross Sports FC players were in the changing rooms at Savile Park, Halifax, when they were confronted by an angry mob.

Dale Walker

Dale Walker

Earlier the team had drawn 6-6 with Halifax Hammers and during the game people on the sidelines hurled abuse and threatened a King Cross player. The referee intervened and eventually the supporters left - vowing to return.

They did, and used weapons to assault the victims.

King Cross Sports FC have now temporararily withdrawn from the Halifax Sunday Premier League pending an investigation into the Sunday lunchtime incident.

Manager Dale Walker said he had a duty of care to his players and had never witnessed such scenes in 40 years of local football.

He said three unruly spectators held up play for five or six minutes.

“They were on the pitch gesturing to King Cross players and warning of threatening behaviour towards them,” said Mr Walker.

“They went and it was a great game and it’s so disappointing what happened.”

After the match Mr Walker was tidying up outside when one of his players informed him the men had returned.

He was unable to enter the changing room were two of his players took a beating.

“There was an iron bar used and a couple of sticks and they suffered head and facial wounds.” About ten people were involved, he said.

The injured didn’t need hospital treatment and have not pressed charges.

“Halifax Hammers management were disgusted at the behaviour and not any part of what had happened,” said Mr Walker.

“They tried to be peacemakers but had no control of those three. It was a cowardly attack. They entered the changing rooms after watching everybody else leave.”

Saqaf Hussain, of Halifax Hammers said he had been advised not to comment.

Police Insp Colin Skeath said: “Officers attended and spoke to those at the scene.

“No serious injuries were reported and no complaints have been received at this time.

“Both clubs have indicated, however; that they intend to pursue the matter via the amateur league.”

Sunday League chairman Bob Leedham said King Cross Sports fixtures had been suspended for a month to allow for the police, Calderdale Council, and the West Riding County FA to investigate, and the league’s hands were tied until the outcome of those investigations.