THE father of one of Ramsbottom United’s football bosses was one of three spectators injured during a mass crowd brawl at Radcliffe Borough’s ground.
Violence erupted at the non-league match between Radcliffe Borough and Lancaster City at the side of the pitch, in front of the corporate lounges at Radcliffe’s Stainton Park ground around 4.40pm on Saturday.
Three supporters were taken to hospital, one of whom was 54-year-old James Morley, the father of Ramsbottom United joint manager Bernard Morley.
He suffered a broken nose and fractured cheekbone as well as other wounds, after being attacked by other fans with a seat and an umbrella.
It is understood that supporters of Ramsbottom United had gone to watch the Radcliffe match after their scheduled match with Farsley Celtic was cancelled due to a waterlogged pitch, when a fracas broke out with Lancaster fans.
A Greater Manchester Police spokesman said that those involved were not Radcliffe Borough fans.
The spokesman also said that no arrests had so far been made, but that inquiries were ongoing.
Bernard Morley, aged 29, said the team had a good relationship with Radcliffe and regularly supported them when their own team was not playing.
He said: “I was standing to the left of the entrance when it happened and I looked over and saw my dad covered in blood.
“Four or five people had attacked him. He was completely outnumbered.
“He’s been left with a broken nose, a fractured cheekbone, two black eyes and four wounds on his head.
“My mum, who’s 53, was also pushed to the floor. Both of them are really shaken up.
“It’s an absolute disgrace. I’m disgusted that someone would use weapons like this. It’s not acceptable at a match, or anywhere.”
The match was stopped for about 20 minutes before it resumed.
Footage of the incident emerged on YouTube, where the stadium announcer can be heard describing the incident as “embarrassing”.
He is heard to say: “All those spectators from Ramsbottom and the supporters from Lancaster, thank you for disgracing Radcliffe Borough today.”
Harry Williams, Ramsbottom United chairman, said: “Obviously I’m not happy about what’s happened, but everything’s up in the air at the moment.”
Dave Chalmers, managing director of Radcliffe Borough, said there had not been any trouble at the ground since the club was formed in 1949.
He said: “I was doing the paperwork in my office and someone said it had gone off. When I had gone out to look it had calmed down, but I went into the lounge and saw Bernard Morley.
“What was annoying and pathetic was that there were children about. A little lad was with his dad and was really upset, and was frightened to death.”
A statement on the Lancaster City website read: “An incident that occurred in the public area during the match at Radcliffe Borough last Saturday is in the hands of the authorities, and we are awaiting the outcome of enquiries, which will take account of evidence from all sides.”
A spokesman for the Football Assocation confirmed it had launched an investigation into the incident.