This story is over 5 years old.


Arrests Made as Crowd Violence Erupts at Another West Ham Fixture

West Ham's move to the former Olympic Stadium is under the spotlight yet again after crowd trouble marred their League Cup win over Chelsea on Wednesday night.
There are fewer more distressing sights than that of an Englishman in a baseball cap // PA Images

West Ham's move to the former Olympic Stadium is under the spotlight yet again after crowd trouble marred their League Cup win over Chelsea on Wednesday night.

History shows that meetings between these two sets of supporters is always heated. Add the fact that the game was an evening kick-off and the problems already seen at West Ham's new ground this term, and the situation was clearly combustible.


In light of this, the resulting violence was not entirely surprising – even if it is shocking in a 21st century football context.

The Guardian reports that "flashpoints occurred in stoppage time when the Chelsea supporters in the lower tier of the Sir Trevor Brooking stand made for the exit behind them.

"They had to cross over a concourse and as some West Ham fans surged towards them the stewards fought to keep the rival factions apart."

A supporter breaks through the stewards // PA Images

It has been widely reported that bottles, seats and other missiles were thrown, which ended with riot police being called in. Commentating on the game for BBC Radio 5 Live, Jonathan Overend, said supporters were "hurling missiles at each other. It looks like plastic bottles and I've seen what looks like three or four plastic seats being thrown."

One Chelsea fan who attended the game with his eight-year-old daughter said the girl "was hit with seven coins all over her body."

"We were watching the game in the front row near to the home fans – suddenly there's a whole load of coins coming over. Other kids were hit, it was not just my daughter," he said.

According to the BBC, West Ham have promised to "ban any fans involved for life". Police commander BJ Harrington told the broadcaster:

"There were a minority of people who attended the match that were clearly intent on being involved in confrontation and violence.

"Despite extensive work with both clubs and a large and robust policing operation, there were unacceptable incidents inside and outside the stadium, before, during and after the game."


In addition to the violence, an image is circulating online showing a "song sheet" allegedly being handed out at the stadium to West Ham fans.

West Ham fans' homophobic song sheet from last night's game. — Football Super Tips (@FootySuperTips)October 27, 2016

As well as being objectively awful and riddled with typos, the lyrics are homophobic in nature – a depressing coincidence on the same day that a report was released suggesting that 8% of football fans would not tolerate a gay player at their club.

Despite the offensive nature of the lyrics the song sheet calls on West Ham fans to "MAKE SOME F##CKING NOISE", which, you have to say, shows an inconsistent approach to censorship.

Of course, it only takes one arsehole with the most rudimentary lyric-writing skills and access to a printer to create something like this. The majority of West Ham supporters undoubtedly have no interest in causing unrest.

But the trouble in the ground – while blamed on the famed "small minority" – clearly involved a not insignificant number of people. In their efforts to rebrand the club for the modern age, West Ham appear to be facing resistance that bares worrying resemblance to the past.