A GROUP of Bolton Wanderers fans is pulling together to help a pub that was trashed by hooligans pay for repairs.

The Drysalters pub in Leeds was forced to shut after a group of Whites fans let off flares and firecrackers prior to their recent game with Leeds United on March 30.

Their actions caused considerable damage to the interior of the building, with mirrors and lights smashed, as well as a memorial wall to a pub regular.

Ben Hodgson was in the pub with his seven-year-old son Brody when the trouble started.

Along with fellow Wanderers fan Craig Turner, he has now set up a crowdfunding page to assist the pub in repairing the wall.

Describing how events unfolded, he said: “When we got there it seemed all right. There were Bolton and Leeds fans in the same pub having a laugh and singing songs.

“I was at the bar getting a drink and a load of Bolton fans turned up and started throwing flares and smoke bombs inside the pub. They threw one near my little lad.

“It wasn’t a nice atmosphere at all. Riot police came in and they had to shut the pub.

“When I got home I posted on Facebook about how disrespectful it was and one of the bar staff from the pub messaged me to tell me they had ripped a memorial wall down. I thought I would try to raise money to help them out.

“Craig messaged me to say he wanted to get on board and set up the page. Everyone has been saying well done. We’re just trying to make amends for what happened.

“Not all can be repaired as it had sentimental value, however, as a nice gesture this can go a long way to fixing our reputation.”

So far, the campaign has raised £320, although Mr Hodgson says they hope to eventually raise close to the £2,000 mark. He and Mr Turner will then head over to West Yorkshire to hand the money over to the pub on behalf of Bolton supporters.

Mr Hodgson says the incident left his son Brody terrified, and the youngster has since said he does not want to go to another game.

“He hasn’t been to a game since,” said Mr Hodgson.

“We had tickets to go to Barnsley but he did not want to go. I don’t think he’ll go to another away game again.”

Fellow Wanderers fans have taken to the crowdfunding page to condemn the behaviour of their fellow supporters.

One comment from Donna Stubbins said: “This was such a disgraceful thing to do and I hope those responsible are hanging their heads in


Another from Mitchell Hughes reads: “Great way to respond to the incident. Hopefully those involved will realise this behaviour is not acceptable in the modern day game.”

The landlord of the Drysalters, which is half a mile from Elland Road, where the match took place, described the behaviour of the supporters on the day as a disgrace.

He added: “The mindless thugs who did this are not welcome in here if they stay up next year.

“I’m grateful to the genuine Bolton supporters though. What they are trying to do is much appreciated.”

To donate visit https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/craig-turner-1.