Lone Leeds fan attacked by mob of Bristol City supporters, court told
FOOTBALL steward team leader Andrew Pyne told a jury he saw trouble at Ashton Gate and it looked like one Leeds United fan versus all the Bristol City supporters.
Mr Pyne said he spotted the rumpus in the Dolman Stand after Leeds scored a goal in the feisty clash between the clubs in February last year.
He told Bristol Crown Court: "I've seen fights where everyone is neutral.
"In this situation it was one Leeds fan versus Bristol City.
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"It was everybody against this chap. Even neutral people didn't want to help because he 'wasn't one of us'."
The court has been told Leeds fan Darren Priaulx was sat in the Dolman stand and was attacked by an angry mob when he celebrated Leeds' opening 17th-minute goal.
He was there with his father, brother and aunt after his father rang the club's ticket line and was told the only four seats together were in the Dolman (home) section of the ground.
Mr Priaulx senior bought the tickets, without stating he was a Leeds fan, and they were sent to his Plymouth home.
A jury has been told Darren Priaulx was surrounded, punched and kicked down the steps of the stand before stewards came to his aid and ushered him out of harm's way.
He was escorted outside with his Leeds shirt ripped to shreds and cuts and bruises.
Four men deny violent disorder, with others.
They are Christopher Moore, 47, of Longway Avenue, Bristol; Kevin Naish, 31, of Soundwell Road, Bristol; Neil Grey, 32, of St Michael's Avenue, Weston-super-Mare and Paul Stitt, 47, of Church Lane, Whitchurch.
City fans Lee Charlton and Dean Ellis have pleaded guilty to the charge.
Mr Pyne said his attention was drawn to a scuffle in the Atyeo Stand before he saw fans congregating in an area of the Dolman Stand.
He said he heard people say "He shouldn't be in there" and saw a man with a Leeds shirt being assaulted, pushed and spat on.
Mr Pyne said: "He was against the railings and he was being pushed and spat on. It was nothing too bad. He was on his feet. There was chanting and swearing.
"He shouldn't have been in there but at the end of the day he was being assaulted and although he shouldn't have been in there he needed help."
Mr Pyne described how he and steward supervisor Darren Mitchell went to Mr Priaulx's aid and managed to haul him to safety.
He said: "He was very grateful for us helping him out.
"He was very shaken. He apologised for being there. He said it was the only way he could get a ticket.
"There was blood around his mouth and he was very, very shaken and very happy that we managed to get him out."
Mr Pyne said he and his colleagues were warned there could be a few Leeds fans who bought tickets for the Dolman Stand and would turn people wearing "foreign" (away team) shirts away for their own safety.
Earlier, Andrew Naish told the jury it was the worst incident he had seen since the Heysel Stadium or Hillsborough football crowd tragedies.
He said: "There were specific people in the crowd who ran across seats to get to the victim and punch him. Most people were directly or indirectly involved in the incident.
"If I was a couple of feet away I would have tried to help. I'm a lover of sport. I don't think violence has got any part at all. I think there comes a time when you stand up to help people.
"It was the most violent, cowardly thing I've ever seen at a football match."
Kristian Withers, a police officer, said he was at the match with his mum and sons and saw a scuffle between Leeds and Bristol fans outside the ground.
He said some ten people surrounded Mr Priaulx as he went down the stand steps and he commended the bravery of a steward who put himself in the line of fire.
The case continues.