A West Ham fan caught up in a crush with his two young sons during the disorder of Tuesday evening (10 May 2016) outside Upton Park, ahead of the Premier League clash against Manchester United, said he feared for his life, and sharply criticised police for their handling of the violence.
The final game for West Ham United at the Boleyn Ground stadium, known as Upton Park, was marred by violence after a small group of fans attacked Manchester United's team bus as it made its way to the ground.
Bottles, cans and smoke bombs were hurled at the bus, damaging its windows, with thousands of fans caught up in the violence as police tried to restore order. The kick-off was delayed by 45 minutes as police imposed crowd-control measures to contain the violence. Fans later complained they were trapped by police and forced to stay in dangerous areas with aggressive supporters.
"We got crushed. We were pushed from the back, we got pushed from the front. There was no control. There were no visuals up above – no one could see what was going on down in the street", one fan told reporters.
"All I could think of was Hillsborough, all I could think of was those poor people who came to a ground to watch a game, and that is where they ended up. I have been coming to this ground since 1992, I have been bringing my boys. It is [usually] a very safe environment. This is a disgrace tonight. Somebody should be had for this", he continued.
Four police officers suffered minor injuries after being pelted with objects, and so far one arrest has been made in connection to the violence outside the stadium. Police said they also arrested two men for pitch incursion during the course of the match.