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Sunderland fans demand truth over police actions

This is a story from the FSF archive – the FSF and SD merged to become the FSA in 2019.

Sunderland supporters are coming together to hand out 10,000 flyers before their team’s Premier League game with Wolves on Sunday. The flyers, which have the backing of the FSF, will appeal for witnesses to an incident that took place at Newcastle’s Central Station on Saturday 8th August – email the FSF today if you’d like to help hand them out.

Four fans were hospitalised and many more injured as supporters returning from their club’s pre-season tie with Hearts were met by Northumbria Police. No police officers were hurt.

Eye-witness accounts we’ve received directly contradict Northumbria Police’s allegations that fans were “intent on (pre-arranged) violence” and police action was “proportionate and justifiable”. While Northumbria Police say that Sunderland hooligans had planned to meet their Newcastle counterparts the evidence the FSF has seen does not back their case.

A loudspeaker announcement at Hearts’ Tynecastle Stadium told visiting fans that an additional train had been put on which would go directly to Sunderland. This does not support Northumbria Police’s claim that fans were “intent on (pre-arranged) violence” at Newcastle’s Central Station – supporters on the train did not even know that was their destination.

The police’s campaign to smear fans as hooligans who instigated levels of previously unseen violence is not backed up by evidence we’ve seen. All serious injuries were suffered by fans and caused by police batons or dog bites. Not one police officer or police dog required hospital or veterinary treatment.

The FSF has now put more than 20 supporters in touch with solicitors as they fight to clear their name. Leading law firm Deighton Guedella will also represent fans in civil cases against the police.

If you were present at Central Station contact us – your identity and anything you say will be treated in total confidentiality.

Fans, friends and family who would like to help hand out flyers should email peter.daykin@fsf.org.uk or call 0870 2777 777 for further details.

CLICK HERE TO SEE OUR WEBSITE SECTION DEDICATED TO THIS INCIDENT.

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Funding partners

  • The Football Association
  • Premier Leage Fans Fund

Partners

  • Gamble Aware
  • Co-operatives UK
  • FSE
  • Kick It Out
  • Level Playing Field
  • Living Wage Foundation
  • SD Europe