Masked gang batter coach with golf clubs in attack at football ground

Masked men armed with golf clubs burst into a football ground and launched a terrifying targeted attack on an assistant coach last night.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 29th August 2018, 11:33 am
Updated Wednesday, 29th August 2018, 3:11 pm
The attack happened at Seaham Red Star Football ground
The attack happened at Seaham Red Star Football ground

Less than half an hour before the Northern League Division One game between Seaham Red Star and Sunderland RCA was due to kick off, around eight men charged onto the pitch at Seaham Town Park, where players and coaches were warming up.

It is believed one member of the Red Star coaching staff was specifically targeted and was beaten by the masked attackers.

The attack happened at Seaham Red Star Football ground

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He was taken to hospital and it is believed he need stitches following wounds to his back and leg.

Dave Copeland, secretary of Seaham Red Star Football Club, confirmed one of the club's assistant coaches was injured.

He said: "I was doing something in the club house and someone ran in to say there had been this incident.

"Two vans had pulled up and people jumped out. About eight wearing masks and armed with golf clubs ran onto the ground.

"They identified one of the people on the pitch and went straight for him.

"Eight came into the ground and there was probably another 10 outside the ground."

The attack happened at 7.05pm last night (August 28).

Mr Copeland added: "We called the police and they were here within about five minutes but the vans had gone by this point.

"One man was injured. They knew what they were doing and who they were looking for.

"[The victim] was released from hospital last night. He's had stitches in various parts of his back and his leg."

Red Star players, who went on to lose the match 5-0, were all on the field and witnessed the horrifying attack.

Mr Copeland added: "The lads were visibly shaken as they were all on the field warming up when it kicked off."

The match, which was due to kick off at 7.30pm, was delayed by 15 minutes.

A statement from Durham FA said: "The Durham County FA have been made aware of an incident which occurred at the Seaham Red Star v Sunderland RCA fixture last night and we will be investigating the matter by writing to both clubs and match officials for their comments, we are also aware that the police are involved and also investigating.

"The incident reported has no place at all in football and it is very concerning especially as it was witnessed by members of the public which included children.”

A spokesman for Northern League said: "This a very unfortunate incident that fans shouldn't have to witness. Durham FA and the police are investigating."

Police officers were called to the incident and an investigation is currently ongoing.

A spokesman for Durham Constabulary said: “We are investigating an alleged assault which took place at the ground of Seaham Red Star FC, in Seaton Lane, Seaham, shortly after 7pm on Tuesday, August 28.

“Anyone with any information is asked to call Durham Constabulary on 101, quoting reference number 383 of August 28, 2018.”