West Ham United said they will hand lifetime bans to any of their supporters who were responsible for attacking Manchester United’s team bus as it made its way to the Boleyn Ground. On 10 May, the final game at the Hammers’ ground, more commonly referred to as Upton Park, was delayed by 45 minutes as a result of the disorder which saw the bus windows smashed as bottles, missiles and smoke bombs were hurled towards it.
Police confirmed one officer and one other person received minor injuries during the unrest on east London’s Green Street. The attack on the bus was condemned by the Football Association as an “unsavoury incident” ahead of the “special evening” for West Ham as they played their final game at their home for the past 112 years.
West Ham said they will seek bans for anyone confirmed to have been involved in the attack on Manchester United’s team bus. The club said in a statement : “It was an extraordinary night full of extraordinary moments in front of extraordinary fans. 99% of whom behaved impeccably and were a credit to the Club.
“We have already had thousands of tweets and emails from fans to say how proud they were to be a part of such a special evening in West Ham’s history. However, we are aware that there were some supporters outside the Boleyn Ground who didn’t act in an appropriate way when the Manchester United team bus was damaged. That was not acceptable and we will work with the police to identify those responsible and ban them for life.”
Manchester United’s caption Wayne Rooney said the behaviour of some of the West Hams before the match was “disappointing”. He added: “It’s a big night for West Ham, but I’m sure West Ham as a club will be disappointed with what the fans have done.”
Why advertise with us West Ham’s co-chairman David Sullivan said he was “gravely disappointed” that the match was delayed as the club had a planned special after-match event commemorating the final game at Upton Park and even suggested there wasn’t any damage to the bus.
He told Sky Sports. “It’s more for our supporters. They have trains and buses. We have a wonderful, wonderful show after the match. Many fans will not be able to stay for that.
He told BBC Radio 5 Live: “If you check the coach there won’t be any damage to it. If we arrived late at Old Trafford they wouldn’t put the kick-off back. Man United should have got here at 4pm. They made the same mistake at Spurs. I’d make them kick off at 7.45pm. The police have been kind to them.”
A Met Police spokesperson said: “We are aware that a number of items were thrown towards Manchester United’s coach this evening, Tuesday, 10 May. There have been no arrests. An appropriate policing plan is in place.”
West Ham eventually won the game 3-2 in a thrilling final game at Upton Park, before moving their home to the Olympic Stadium in Stratford.
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The Manchester United team coach attempts to make its way through the crowds prior to the final game at West Ham’s Boleyn Ground