West Ham vs Millwall: Warzone

Benjamin RogersAnalyst IAugust 26, 2009

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 25:  Fans invade the pitch during the Carling Cup second round match between West Ham United and Millwall at Upton Park on August 25, 2009 in London, England.  . Violence broke out between West Ham and Millwall supporters, prior to kick off in tonight's second round Carling Cup at Upton Park. According to reports bricks and bottles were being used as missiles as fans broke through a riot police divide  (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

In case you were wondering, the match ended 3-1 to the Hammers. But that, unfortunately is not why I'm writing this article.

During last night's Carling Cup game between West Ham United and Millwall, fans disgraced themselves and their clubs by invading the pitch on three different occasions and riots were started before and after the game.

Riot Police were in full gear before the game even started to stop raging West Ham fans from fighting with Millwall fans.

Fans were seen throwing anything they could get their hands on, from bricks to trees and, of course, beer bottles and pint glasses. The police had to push the fans back while missiles were being thrown into their direction and at Millwall supporters.

To the disgrace of one fan, a man was stabbed in the chest and had to be treated before an ambulance took the unfortunate male to hospital, were he is believed to make a full recovery.

Unfortunately it didn't stop there, as many of the fans were pushed into the stadium it became clear that many fans from both clubs without tickets were getting past the turnstiles and starting fights inside the ground itself.

As the game started, Millwall fans in the stands started to get into small fights with each other and when the police and ground officials went to break it up, the anger was quickly turned around on the themselves.

Many Millwall fans tore the seats out of their holdings and used them to battle the police.

After the police seemed to have calmed everything down, Millwall scored the first goal of the game thanks to a good finish by Harris. That triggered more Millwall fans to rub this in the faces of the already angry West Ham fans.

Until the past couple of minutes, police had managed to hold fans back, and the only trouble was with fans from both sides getting between the goal and seats and trying to get on the pitch.

But just as the violence seemed to end with minutes to go, West Ham equalized thanks to Stanislas, who, on his celebration, ran past Millwall supporters and gloated. As he ran past them, the Millwall fans they threw water bottles and other missiles at the player himself. Thankfully they all missed.

However, the anger between the fans was started all over again and it was clear both fans were reaching boiling point and as West Ham took the lead in the 30th minute added on time, the Hammers fans invaded the pitch.

After the police, ground officials, and even the players themselves managed to get the West Ham fans back in the stands, the game was played on.

But the truce was short-lived, and when West Ham sealed the win with a third goal, West Ham fans again invaded the pitch, which led to the Millwall players running off the pitch for their own safety.

Again, the game was managed to be restarted, but as the final whistle was blown the West Ham fans invaded the pitch for a third time.

As the players walked off the pitch among the partying West ham pitch invaders, Jack Collinson was brought to tears as only two days earlier his father had been killed in a moterbike accident.

As the ground was emptied, the fans were fighting in the streets once again. If it weren't for the police, it would have continued until the early hours of the morning.

I myself was planning on going to the game, and luckily I chose not to. But many of my friends did go and luckily all returned safely. One gave me a short interview.

"It was mental and terrifying at the same time," he said. "It was clear that the people fighting weren't even real fans, just thugs out for a fight."

"Luckily we left the pub we were in and went down a safe street, but turned our heads to see fans emptying the pub of its chairs and tables to throw at Millwall fans."

"The police were overrun and were only just stopping the fans from both clubs colliding."

"We even saw Millwall fans steal tickets from their own fellow fans and try to get into the ground."

"If I'm honest it wasn't pleasant, any young kids at the game must of been terrified and frightened, if I had to use two words to discribe it all, I would choose terrifying warzone."

As my friend said, the trouble was not started by real fans, but by mindless thugs that should not only get dealt with by the law, but also get life bans from every football game in the future.

This was all pre-arranged by thugs and hooligans, and they are the ones who should be brought to justice, and not the clubs themselves.

Thankfully officials of the FA have come out and said the violence will not effect England's 2018 World Cup bid.

Let's hope that the police and the two clubs find and punish the offenders and we can try and forget this horrible incident.


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