Everton fans ‘threatened driver and faked illness’ to get off coach to fight Millwall fans before FA Cup brawl
Everton fans ‘threatened a coach driver’ and ‘faked illness’ in order to get off an away day coach to fight Millwall fans, an official report has concluded.
The Traffic Commissioner slammed Huyton Mini Coaches for their conduct surrounding the game, despite taking Toffees supporters across the country for several seasons.
A report from a Merseyside Police officer attached to Everton FC described the antics of one coach as ‘the most serious football violence he had seen in 28 years of policing’.
Supporters from both clubs became embroiled in ugly battles outside of The Den before the FA Cup game in January of this year.
Prior to the third round tie, the Metropolitan Police warned of a ‘much heightened risk’ and coordinated scraps planned by fans on the streets of Bermondsey.
As a result of the security concerns, coach operators were forced to follow a set route to the ground – with any stops outside London forbidden by police.
Strict arrival times were enforced to ensure coaches could deliver supporters to avoid potential clashes.
On the morning of Saturday January 26, Huyton Mini Coaches sent six vehicles down to the capital from three different starting locations in Liverpool.
However, one of the coaches went off the designated route and drove through central London to drop off a number of fans at Euston station.
PC Michael Dacre detailed the abhorrent scenes which followed as he watched as a group of fans took ‘part in the most serious football violence seen in 28 years of policing’.
Mr Szilagyi, who was driving a coach booked for a Mr Brophy, claimed he was ‘tricked’ into thinking one of the passengers required urgent medical attention.
It is understood the passengers used this diversion to sneak away as the driver then carried on his journey into London independently.
The report by the by Traffic Commissioner for the North West Simon Evans concluded that the coach company caused an ‘increased risk to the public’ as potentially dangerous individuals were allowed to travel through London undetected.
A second coach, which left Liverpool from the same location, was forced to stop off at a pub in Luton when a passenger threatened the driver.
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Following the unauthorised stop at the pub, the coach arrived late to the ground and was attacked by home supporters.
The report said: “Occupants of the coach were seen throwing bottles and cans and were said to be ‘winding up’ those outside, leading to serious disorder problems.”
Mr Evans found the coach’s late arrival ‘placed passengers’ safety at risk as that decision [to stop] led to a violent public confrontation on the street.’
Source: Prem News