Non-League Football – The Dark Side

I’m sure most of you are well aware of the scenes at Radcliffe Boro yesterday and the incident that took place between fans of Lancaster City and players, officials and management from Ramsbottom United.

Now first of all i feel for Radcliffe Boro today, as they showed me great hospitality and i enjoyed a look behind the scenes and what goes on there. Unfortunately the game and the day there was spectacularly overshadowed by the violent scenes between the fans of Lancaster and representatives of Ramsbottom United.

There was including players, officials and fans around 200 people inside the ground today and if you spoke to all you’d probably get 199 different opinions of what went on.

I’ve admitted myself i didn’t quite see the first punch thrown, but what went on after wasn’t pretty. Who was to blame? There are theories, blame and all sorts going on over the various social media sites tonight. I’m sure some things will become clearer in the upcoming days. Certainly Ramsbottom will be hit with a heavy punishment regardless of whether they started it or not. I’m not going to go in to who’s said what and who blames who. That’s all readily available on these social media sites.

My opinion for what it’s worth, they’re both as bad as each other. If there’s bad blood in the first place why did Ramsbottom feel the need to turn up. Granted they’re only ‘down the road’ but given circumstances maybe not a wise move. There was chanting between the two parties in the build up to the altercation, any of it deemed worthy of a mass brawl? Probably nothing worse than what you hear in most football ground’s. The violence which occurred, in front of women and children however, is something that shouldn’t be seen in any football ground no matter what level of the pyramid. As for Lancaster, the Ramsbottom contingent were on the other side of the pitch, so if they stayed where they were behind the goal, this could have been avoided.

The game was held up for around 15 minutes as a consequence with around 15 minutes left. When the game did restart, i think everyone was waiting for the final whistle. Some people had already left and/or were leaving as it restarted. Others involved in the incident were being seen to by first aiders until the ambulance crews arrived. They were followed shortly after by the police. I’ve heard arrests were made, but then again i’ve been told there wasn’t. Walking into the clubhouse at the end wasn’t the best as fans from Lancaster were still walking around with cuts, bruises and lumps all over their faces. While others were still being treated. Again, something i didn’t want my lad to see. So we made a sharp exit.

Something i hope he, or infact I never have to see again.

Video Of the Incident

The worst thing about it all, was i had my 8-year-old lad with me, and as i was filming the aftermath of the car park as we were leaving he can be heard on video simply asking ‘WHY DID WE COME’

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