2009 Upton Park riot

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2009 Upton Park riot
Boleyn Ground Upton Park 1.jpg
The Boleyn Ground, where the disturbances took place
Date 25 August 2009
Location Boleyn Ground, Upton Park, East London
Methods Pitch invasions, violent civil disorder
Parties to the civil conflict
Casualties
1 (stabbed)
20 others injured

The 2009 Upton Park riot occurred in and around West Ham United's Boleyn Ground, in Upton Park before, during and after a Football League Cup second round match between West Ham and Millwall on 25 August 2009. The match was won by the home side 3–1 after extra time,[1] but the game was marred by pitch invasions and disorder in the streets outside the ground, where a Millwall supporter[2] was stabbed.[3] More than 20 other people were injured.[4] The disturbances were met with condemnation by the Football Association, the British government and the two clubs involved.[5][6][7] The incident led to fears of a return of the hooliganism that had tarnished the reputation of English football in the 1970s and 80s.[8] There were also concerns that it could negatively impact upon England's bid to host the 2018 World Cup.[9]

Background[edit]

Millwall and West Ham United have a long-standing rivalry that dates back to the clubs' first meeting, a friendly on 23 September 1897. The rivalry stems from the two sides' geographical proximity to one another – their current home grounds (The Den and the Boleyn Ground) are 6.8 miles (10.9 km) apart – and, over the years, there have been several instances of violence between some fans of the two clubs. However, these occurrences had subsided in recent years as the clubs have played in different divisions for much of their latter histories. Prior to the match, there had been 96 encounters between Millwall and West Ham, of which Millwall had won 38, West Ham 32, and 26 were drawn. The previous tie was a Football League Championship game played on 16 April 2005 at the Boleyn Ground, which ended 1–1.[10]

Hooliganism was rife at most English football grounds in the 1970s and 80s, and many clubs were forced into installing fencing around the perimeter of the pitch. Millwall's hooligan firm, the Millwall Bushwackers was perceived as one of the most violent, so much so that a common weapon used in such occurrences became known as a Millwall brick. In March 1985, the Bushwackers were involved in a riot with Luton Town's firm the MIGs; of the 31 men arrested, many were found to be supporters of other London clubs such as West Ham and Chelsea. West Ham United have also been in receipt of bad publicity for their Inter City Firm, which received international notoriety after the release of the 1989 film The Firm and the 2005 film Green Street.

The draw for the second round of the 2009–10 Football League Cup took place on 12 August 2009, and paired West Ham and Millwall together for their first ever League Cup meeting.[11] The police cut the number of tickets given to travelling Millwall fans from 3,000 to 1,500, sparking anger among supporters; Millwall warned police of a higher probability of trouble because of this.[12][13]

Match[edit]

Summary[edit]

Beset by injuries, Millwall could only name four substitutes for the game. They took the lead through striker Neil Harris in the 26th minute of the match, firing past goalkeeper Robert Green after the West Ham defenders had failed to clear a long throw-in from Scott Barron. The Lions held the lead until three minutes from full-time, when Junior Stanislas equalised for West Ham. Stanislas' goal sparked a pitch invasion, and although players pleaded with the home fans to return to the stands, the resumption of the match was still delayed by several minutes. With the score at 1–1, the match went into extra time. In the eighth minute of extra time, Millwall defender Andy Frampton was adjudged to have handled the ball in the penalty area and referee Paul Taylor awarded West Ham a penalty kick. Stanislas converted the penalty, and home fans invaded the pitch again, prompting the Millwall players to retreat to the dressing room. They eventually returned to complete the match, with Zavon Hines adding a third, making the final score 3–1 to West Ham.[14]

Details[edit]

25 August 2009
19:45 GMT
West Ham United 3 – 1 (a.e.t.) Millwall
Stanislas Goal 87'98' (pen.)
Hines Goal 100'
Report Harris Goal 26'
Boleyn Ground, London
Attendance: 24,492
Referee: Paul Taylor (Hertfordshire)
West Ham United
Millwall
WEST HAM UNITED:
GK 1 England Robert Green
DF 20 France Julien Faubert
DF 4 Wales Danny Gabbidon Booked 16'
DF 30 England James Tomkins
DF 18 United States Jonathan Spector
MF 8 England Scott Parker Booked 69'
MF 14 Czech Republic Radoslav Kováč Substituted off 62'
MF 31 Wales Jack Collison Booked 115'
MF 35 England Josh Payne Substituted off 46'
FW 12 England Carlton Cole Booked 83' Substituted off 109'
FW 46 England Junior Stanislas
Substitutes:
GK 28 Hungary Péter Kurucz
DF 15 England Matthew Upson Substituted in 109'
DF 19 Wales James Collins
DF 33 Switzerland Fabio Daprelà
FW 24 England Frank Nouble Substituted in 62'
MF 34 England Oliver Lee
FW 41 England Zavon Hines Substituted in 46'
Manager:
Italy Gianfranco Zola
MILLWALL:
GK 1 Republic of Ireland David Forde
DF 2 Republic of Ireland Alan Dunne
DF 3 England Andy Frampton Booked 6'
DF 16 England Scott Barron Booked 104'
DF 21 England Jack Smith
MF 11 England Dave Martin Substituted off 91'
MF 12 England Chris Hackett
MF 22 Ghana Ali Fuseini
MF 24 Scotland Marc Laird Booked 40'
FW 8 England Gary Alexander Substituted off 99'
FW 9 England Neil Harris Substituted off 99'
Substitutes:
GK 13 England John Sullivan
MF 4 England Adam Bolder Substituted in 99'
FW 19 England Ashley Grimes Substituted in 99'
FW 23 Wales Jason Price Substituted in 91'
Manager:
Wales Kenny Jackett

MATCH OFFICIALS

MATCH RULES

  • 90 minutes.
  • 30 minutes of extra-time if necessary.
  • Penalty shoot-out if scores still level.
  • Seven named substitutes.
  • Maximum of three substitutions.

Reaction and aftermath[edit]

The violence was met by surprise and outrage from the footballing authorities and other bodies. The government's sports minister Gerry Sutcliffe commented, "We have made great progress in tackling hooliganism in this country and will not return to the dark days of the 80s." He called the incidents "a disgrace to football" and also said that any culprits should be banned from football for life.[5] Justice secretary Jack Straw said that "strong measures" needed to be taken to prevent a repeat of the disorder.[5] Home secretary Alan Johnson added, "Anyone who thinks thuggery has a place in modern-day football is living in the dark ages, and will bring only shame upon the teams they support." The shadow culture secretary Jeremy Hunt commented that "Wider questions need to be answered as to how the situation was allowed to get out of hand in the first place."[5] One West Ham fan was seen carrying a young child on their shoulders as they joined the pitch invasion. A youth worker called this "sickening... The message it is sending is very disturbing" and added that "Running onto the pitch with a young child on your shoulders is not an example to set to young people."[15] The Football Association said that the fan should receive a lifetime ban.

Harry Redknapp, a former West Ham manager, advised the football authorities never to allow West Ham United and Millwall to play each other in a Cup game again.[16] The Metropolitan Police Service said evidence suggested that the violence was an isolated incident and not a signal that the football violence seen in the 1980s was returning.[17] On 28 September 2009, both West Ham and Millwall were charged by the FA with offences related to the match. Both clubs were charged with failing to ensure that their fans refrained from violent, threatening, obscene and provocative behaviour, racist behaviour and throwing missiles, harmful or dangerous objects onto the pitch. West Ham were also charged with failing to ensure that their supporters did not enter the field of play.[18]

In January 2010 West Ham were fined £115,000 after being found guilty of violent, threatening, obscene and provocative behaviour and of failing to prevent their fans entering the field of play. Millwall were cleared of all charges.[19] In response to the violence and public order offences the Metropolitan Police launched Operation Balconi to investigate the disorder surrounding the game. Eighty people suspected of violence before and after the match were arrested.[20] As a result Inner London Crown Court convicted several West Ham fans of violent disorder, passing prison sentences, including one of 20 months, along with many football banning orders - barring individuals from all football grounds - being imposed. West Ham banned at least 54 people for life from Upton Park including 11 season ticket holders.[21] Since the riot, the two teams have played two Football League Championship games against other in the 2011–12 season. The Metropolitan Police implemented London-wide operations to ensure that the games passed by without any incident, and no further trouble was reported.[22]

References[edit]

General
Specific
  1. ^ "West Ham v Millwall - 25 August 2009". Sky Sports. British Sky Broadcasting. 25 August 2009. Retrieved 26 August 2009. 
  2. ^ "Football stab man 'tried to flee'". BBC News (British Broadcasting Corporation). 28 August 2009. Retrieved 28 August 2009. 
  3. ^ "Mass violence mars London derby". BBC News (British Broadcasting Corporation). 25 August 2009. Retrieved 26 August 2009. 
  4. ^ "'Bring your bats... but don't bring your kids': Thugs planned West Ham v Millwall rampage on internet chatrooms". Daily Mail (London). 26 August 2009. Retrieved 27 August 2009. 
  5. ^ a b c d "Violence 'a disgrace to football'". BBC News (British Broadcasting Corporation). 26 August 2009. Retrieved 26 August 2009. 
  6. ^ "FA to probe Upton Park violence". BBC News (British Broadcasting Corporation). 26 August 2009. Retrieved 26 August 2009. 
  7. ^ Dyer, Ken (26 August 2009). "West Ham vow to hunt down thugs as Gianfranco Zola reveals his despair". Evening Standard. Retrieved 26 August 2009. 
  8. ^ McFarlane, Andy (26 August 2009). "Hooliganism rears its ugly head". BBC News (British Broadcasting Corporation). Retrieved 26 August 2009. 
  9. ^ "2018 bid team condemns violence". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). 26 August 2009. Retrieved 26 August 2009. 
  10. ^ "West Ham 1-1 Millwall". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). 16 April 2005. Retrieved 26 August 2009. 
  11. ^ "Carling Cup second-round draw". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). 12 August 2009. Retrieved 12 August 2009. 
  12. ^ Gibson, Owen (5 January 2010). "West Ham and Millwall mount defence over Carling Cup violence". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 19 July 2010. 
  13. ^ "Millwall angered by Carling Cup ticket decision". The Wharf (London). 20 August 2009. Retrieved 30 July 2010. 
  14. ^ "West Ham 3-1 Millwall (aet)". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). 25 August 2009. Retrieved 31 August 2009. 
  15. ^ "Pitch invader carried young child". BBC News (British Broadcasting Corporation). 26 August 2009. Retrieved 31 August 2009. 
  16. ^ Published: 27 Aug 2009 (2009-08-27). "Harry Redknapp says West Ham and Millwall must never meet again in a Cup match". The Sun. Retrieved 2011-01-16. 
  17. ^ Lee, Gavin (31 August 2009). "Fans 'planned' football violence". BBC News (British Broadcasting Corporation). Retrieved 31 August 2009. 
  18. ^ "West Ham & Millwall charged by FA". BBC News (British Broadcasting Corporation). 28 September 2009. Archived from the original on 29 September 2009. Retrieved 28 September 2009. 
  19. ^ "West Ham fined £115,000 over violence against Millwall". BBC News (British Broadcasting Corporation). 15 January 2010. Archived from the original on 17 January 2010. Retrieved 2 February 2010. 
  20. ^ "Football yobs facing jail". www.newhamrecorder.co.uk. 3 October 2010. Retrieved 23 October 2010. 
  21. ^ "Millwall: An update". www.whufc.com. 7 April 2010. Retrieved 23 October 2010. 
  22. ^ "London-wide policing for Millwall v West Ham clash". The Wharf (London). 15 September 2011. Retrieved 21 November 2013.