Police hunt Sunderland and Newcastle fans after clash on train

Police wish to speak to these men in CCTV images. (Pics supplied by BTP)

Police wish to speak to these men in CCTV images. (Pics supplied by BTP)

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THESE fans are being sought by police after rival Sunderland and Newcastle supporters clashed on a train.

Detectives today appealed for help to identify the men captured in the CCTV images.

Trouble flared on board the train after a group of Black Cats fans ran into NUFC rivals, who were travelling back from a match at Manchester City.

It is believed about 20 thugs started the fight as the train left the station at York.

Many intimidated passengers were forced to get off the train at the next stop, Northallerton, to flee the brawlers.

British Transport Police (BTP) said several incidents were reported to them about pockets of fighting.

After trawling CCTV footage and speaking to witnesses, officers discovered the violence was football fan-related.

BTP Detective Constable Wayne Green said: “On that afternoon, Newcastle United had been playing away at Manchester City and a number of fans were travelling back by train.

“There were a large number of passengers on the service who feared for the safety following the actions of this group.

“A number of them left the train early at Northallerton as a result of the disturbance.

“Inquiries have been ongoing to trace the men involved.

“I am now releasing CCTV images of men we believe will have information that can assist the investigation.”

He added: “Incidents such as this are extremely rare on the rail network, which is generally a very safe environment in which to travel.

“We will not tolerate incidents such as this.

“Passengers and rail staff have the right to travel without being subjected to the type of behaviour shown during this incident.”

The fighting broke out on the 19.19 TransPennine Express service from Manchester Airport to Newcastle Central Station, as it left York on Saturday, November 19.

Anyone with information is asked to contact BTP on 0800 405040, quoting background log B7 of 16/01/2011, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Twitter: @sunechochief