An amateur game in Liverpool was abandoned after a gang with a firearm caused havoc on the sidelines at The Catholic Men’s Society (CMS) league game.
The Liverpool Echo reports that a local woman said four gunshots were fired sending the terrified crowd fleeing – though police searches found no evidence of it. Another said more than a dozen thugs piled into the fight.
The tie last Saturday was a CMS league match between Speke rivals Credit Union and Western Speke. The woman, who is close to one of the teams, said both had been eagerly looking forward to the tie.
But speaking about the violence she said: “It’s nothing to do with football, it’s the crowd. One of the Credit Union players came with a gang and they were quite obvious. They’re just thugs these people.
“One of the Western Speke players started arguing with them asking them to leave. They went to have a ‘straightener’ and someone came out with this gun. Four shots were fired and then people ran around.
“This feud has been going on for two years and lives are in danger.”
The witness said the gang pulled up in three Land Rovers, poured out of the vehicles and started beating their opponents with clubs and metal bars. When the match was abandoned Western Speke were 1-0 ahead.
A match official said: “It was an aggressive brawl. I didn’t see how it started. There was quite a few more than a dozen involved.
“It wasn’t people watching the match, they just used it as an excuse – two rival gangs from Speke.
Both teams have had to send reports to CMS bosses and will appear in front of a disciplinary hearing on Thursday.
A police spokesman said: “Merseyside Police is investigating reports of disorder at the Austin Rawlinson Sports Centre in Speke on Saturday afternoon.
“Officers were called following an alleged incident at around 3pm in which there was a verbal altercation between two men followed by damage being caused to one of the men's cars.
“During the altercation it has been alleged that a weapon was produced.
“The police have not received any reports of any shots being fired and, during a thorough search of the area around the sports centre, no evidence of the weapon or a firearm discharge was found.