Writer: SFC Forever
Date:Friday January 28 2011
Whilst a lot of the reporting done in the Sun can be written off as over dratisation or even fabrication of the truth, the article today is not pleasant reading.
Nick talks of how he and some other West Ham fans were pulled out of the pub where they were having a quiet drink in the Crown public house.
He relates how at approximately 6.15pm the group of hammers supporters were informed by a policeman that they had to drink up as they were to be escorted to the ground for their own protection.
The group of supporters were then herded outside where dozens of police were waiting. They then linked arms and began walking backwards whilst their colleagues urged the fans to follow them.
Nick goes on to say how it all began peacefully even though they were being marched at a pace much too slow to get to the stadium in time for the kick-off.
The police forced the group to walk at a snails pace much slower than a normal pace and oon it became obvious that the stadium would not in fact be reached in time.
Matters started to get worse when fans began querying why the pace was so slow. The police reaction was to shove and threaten those that questioned them.
The convoy of police stopped then at another pub, the Dragon, to collect more of the Hammers' fans and again set off at a snails pace.
With it now obvious, that even though being hauled from the pub 90 minutes before the game, they weren't going to get to the ground on time, some fans again questioned the police about their operation.
Fans who had done quietly as instructed now began asking why they were being treated in such a manner. The protestations were loud but peacefulsays Nick.
The response was not. The reaction by them was instant. Officers were ordered to draw their batons. Youngsters at the front of the crowd were hit indiscriminately when they voiced their fears.
Some fans then surged forward to confront their attackers only to be met with increased violence.
Matters got worse when from nowhere appeared dozens of riot policed fully armed and ready for action. They ran straight to the front and suddenly the whole group was forcibly stopped.
With just ten minutes to kick-off and time running out the large group of West Ham fans were being oushed backwards away from the stadiu,.
A seargant was heard to shout 'use all force necessary to regain control' with the megaphone that he had raised.
This gave the policemen carte blanche to hit anybody that took their fancy and with nowhere for the fans to run for cover they had to simply take their brutality.
Finally the group arrived at the ground at 7.55pm. Even then the police blocked entry to the stadium. No entry until you have all cooled down we were informed.
The amazing journey which had allegedly been taken in the cause of protecting the fans finally ended with the fans late entry into the ground.
Birminham ended up winning an exciting game of two vastly differing halves. Birmingham ended up, in Nicks own words, as deserving winners after a fantastic second half performance and extra time.
Having had a heavy police presence on the way to the stadium, fans were surprised when leaving to find that they had been left at the mercy of Birmingham City's own local yobs.
Armed with mace and hurling an assortment of missiles the yobs were watched by, yes you guessed, the police.
Chatting idly in their little groups the police seemed impervious to what was happening. Mace was sprayed and missiles were thrown as well as blatant acts of charging at the West Ham fans.
What did the police do?
Nothing, absolutely nothing.
I find this an alarming inditement of our police force, and if only half true has to be investigated fully and quickly to have the truth told.
No, I am not calling Nick Chapman a liar but with him having been there the only question I have is why wasn't this story on the front page?
I find this far more interesting and worrying than seeing a tale of sordid sex with two footballers.
I apologise to all if you don't agree with me that this is worthy of making into an article but i am never ever going to keep quiet when it comes to such acts of violence.
Andy Gray and Richard Keys have been ostracised for being openly sexist and overly crude. They have not though physically abused anybody, and I feel that the truth of this incident must out.
Date:Friday January 28 2011
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