Football fan, 9, left needing hospital treatment as club condemn fan behaviour

AFC Telford United have condemned a section of their fans and revealed a nine-year-old boy was left needing hospital treatment after several flares were set off during a non-league game.

The incident happened during Telford’s National League North fixture against Chester on Sunday afternoon.

Flares, smoke bombs and pyrotechnics contain dangerous toxins and are banned at football matches in England.

The flare in question was set off by a “minority” of Telford supporters in the away end at Chester’s Deva Stadium.

Telford are currently bottom of the National League North after winning just two of their opening 19 league games this season.

The club have promised to hand out life-time bans to any fans caught using flares.

AFC Telford United play in the sixth tier of English football
AFC Telford United play in the sixth tier of English football

“AFC Telford United would like remind supporters we are committed to eradicate the use of flares, smoke bombs and pyrotechnics at our matches,” read a Telford statement.

“Several flares were let off this afternoon by a small minority of away supporters which has resulted in a 9 year old boy needing hospital treatment this evening.

“Flares and smoke bombs disrupt play and people’s enjoyment of games, and the toxins they contain can seriously damage health which can cause life-threatening injury or concern.

“Being in possession of a flare or smoke bomb at a football match, or attempting to bring a pyrotechnic device into a football stadium, is a criminal offence.

“We will take the strongest action available against anyone found in possession of a flare, smoke bomb or any other such pyrotechnic device.

“Spectators are warned that we and The National League apply a zero-tolerance approach to anyone attempting to bring such device into any stadium when following AFC Telford United.

“Each time a flare is let off during a football match, the club is fined by the FA which has detrimental affect on money which could be better spent on improving the playing squad.

“AFC Telford United we will be working with Chester and their CCTV from afternoon to identify the individuals who were responsible for today.

“Anyone found responsible will be dealt with in the strongest matter possible. Courts have a sentencing guideline of three months’ imprisonment and a three-year football banning order.”

English football was marred by anti-social behaviour from fans during the weekend, with two incidents unfolding in the Premier League.

On New Year’s Day, Arsenal fans launched several missiles at Manchester City midfielder Rodri as he celebrated his late winner at the Emirates.

After finding the back of the net, Rodri decided to celebrate in front of the Arsenal fans to the right of the goal rather than the Man City supporters to the left.

And on Sunday, Matt Lowton was hit in the face after a Leeds fan allegedly launched a bottle filled with liquid at the Burnley player.

Objects were launched at Rodri after Manchester City's late winner against Arsenal
Objects were launched at Rodri after Manchester City’s late winner against Arsenal

The incident happened as Burnley celebrated Maxwell Cornet’s stunning equaliser. Leeds went on to win the game 3-1.

“Lowton receives treatment, after missiles from the stand hit the players celebrating,” revealed Burnley’s official Twitter account.

“AFC Telford United want all fans to be on their best behaviour when supporting the club either at home fixtures at the New Bucks Head or when following the Bucks away,” continued Telford’s statement.

“We are proud of our community and it’s family based support and cannot, and will not, tolerate inappropriate behaviour or crowd disturbance of any kind.”

The co-founder of MusicMagpie, Walter Gleeson, recently bought a significant share in Telford.

“Since moving to Shropshire I have been an avid supporter of local football,” said Gleeson.

“When I was approached… it didn’t take me long, after meeting the board to see how well it was operating, to want to help in anyway I could.”

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