Hebburn Town condemn 'idiotic violence' which marred FA Vase game and promise to ban those involved
Hebburn Town today promised to ban any supporters caught up in the after-match violence which marred their history-making FA Vase game against City of Liverpool.
Police were called to Hebburn Sports Ground yesterday afternoon as ugly scenes erupted outside after the Hornets' 4-0 win in front of a record crowd of 1,302.
It took the club, who are also flying high in Division One of the Northern League, into the second round of the national competition for only the second time in their history.
But there were reports on social media of visiting supporters being taunted about the Hillsborough disaster, and traffic cones, bottles and punches being thrown between rival fans.
No arrests were made by Northumbria Police, but Hebburn Town's board of directors today issued a statement about the trouble at the end of the game.
It said: "The football club is unfortunately aware of the social media hype regarding the post-game incident between spectators from Hebburn Town FC & The City of Liverpool FC after yesterday's FA Vase first round match.
"Instead of celebrating the fact the team had a tremendous result on the field against a strong visiting side and we had a record-breaking attendance of 1,302, the success has been somewhat overshadowed by the unsavoury incident that occurred in North Drive after the game.
"Northumbria Police were quick on scene, making no arrests but ensuring the crowds were quickly dispersed, with away support put on their coaches to travel home.
"In the football club's 106-year history we have never experienced spectator issues at our ground with our own or visiting support.
"This is the first time we have been exposed to such disgusting behaviour and we very much condemn any such anti-social behaviour that results in idiotic violence.
"We are working very closely with Northumbria Police to identify from the police bodycams anyone involved in the incident. Any spectator that is local to Hebburn and its surrounding areas will receive an automatic ban from our football club.
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"The club having a understanding of the size of the crowd to attend the game prepared accordingly, we hired in security/stewards (we never usually require any), we had many conversations with the local authority and Northumbria Police regarding logistics for the game such as parking, crowd control, emergency evacuation plans etc due to the large numbers anticipated.
"We shared publicly through our website and social media outlets asking spectators to be mindful of our residential neighbours especially when it comes to parking and behaviour travelling to and from the ground, there was very little more we could have done in our preparations.
"Our pre-prepared planning ensured for 99.9% of the 1,302-strong crowd the day went smoothly from the minute the ground opened at 12pm throughout the match until the final whistle.
"It was great to see fans from both clubs mingling, chatting and enjoying the general feelgood atmosphere that as a community club we very much promoted.
"Unfortunately all the planning in the world can’t prevent idiotic behaviour from a very, very small minority from both spectator groups. Our security/steward teams acted promptly to ensure minimum risk.
"We’d like to thank the City of Liverpool FC officials for the support especially Peter (Secretary) who worked really closely with us in preparing, but also during the day yesterday.
"The football club would like to apologise to those genuine spectators supporting Hebburn Town FC and the City of Liverpool FC who got caught up in the incident.
"We’d also like to share our apologies with our residential neighbours, especially in North Drive, having to witness from your homes.
"We can assure everyone that moving forward we will take the feedback and lessons learnt to ensure incidents of this nature do not happen again.
"No further comments will be made the football club."