Some Bristol City fans were 'disgraceful' in Cardiff
A MOTHER has criticised police and some sections of Bristol City fans after her 17-year-old son was injured while attending the club's away fixture against Cardiff City.
The life-long fan, who asked not to be named, told The Post that she had been put off watching the club forever after her son was taken away in an ambulance with a broken collar bone.
The mum from Ashton Vale said that she and her son had been among a number of peaceful fans who were forced together with hooligans by police, who then marched them together to the match.
She said her son needed hospital treatment after being injured when fans pushed their way out of the Cardiff City Stadium after being kept behind following the final whistle.
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Disturbances started on the train to Cardiff, where there were reports of drinking and drug taking.
Fans were marched from the train station to the Great Western pub which was wrecked.
The woman said: "We had no choice but to go to the pub, as we were marched with the crowd. I asked the police on several occasions to let us leave but they forced us to the pub.
"Batons were out from the start although it was hard to see who instigated any of the real violence."
She said glasses were thrown and furniture left strewn across the place while the bathrooms were destroyed. The woman added that some City fans were "absolutely disgraceful", using offensive chants and burning Welsh flags as they went.
But, she said, one of the biggest flash points came as police held fans behind after the game before releasing the gates at the ground. Her son was trampled to the ground as fans surged out of the stadium.
The woman said: "We have gone up and down the country with City but never again. There was trouble from the start on the trains and on a day like this it's embarrassing to be a City fan."
South Wales Police Chief Inspector Steve Murray said a "proportionate policing plan" was put in place which facilitated drinking in the city centre and attendance at the match.
He said: "Any families who identified themselves to police officers who wished to leave the public house were assisted in so doing.
"Some family groups also chose to stay inside the premises. These were then escorted to the Cardiff City Stadium as a single group.
"Following the further violence by Bristol City supporters at the end of the match, family groups who wanted to leave the stadium at the end of the match were again assisted by South Wales Police officers as well as club stewards. A more robust approach was taken in managing the remainder of the travelling fans on their return to the railway station.
"This was a very successful operation, which, despite the efforts of a large number of Bristol City followers, prevented any confrontation from taking place with Cardiff City supporters.
"I was approached on a number of occasions during the afternoon by genuine football supporters from Bristol who were deplored by the behaviour of a group of travelling fans.
"Working with both football clubs South Wales Police is investigating the violent behaviour and will take any appropriate action against those responsible."