In a gory incident, a 39-year-old man bit off another man's finger during a scuffle that broke out before a Christmas play at a primary school.

The Sun has reported that the incident happened when children were about to perform a Christmas play at Harton primary school, South Shields, in the metropolitan county of Tyne and Wear.

Parents of schoolchildren gathered for the play when a fight broke out between two fathers, the report said.

Although the details of animosity are not known, the Sun report said that the brawl came after a long feud.

Teachers had to pull apart the two men, but the victim, a 32-year-old man, already had his finger bitten off.

"The two men started to fight in front of all the mums and dads. One bit the finger off the other and spat the blood out," one of the parents told the Sun.

"A school is not the place to be fighting. The kids might not have been there but they will be affected. You can understand children fighting in the playground, not parents," a mother told the newspaper.

While the victim was treated at a hospital, the attacker was arrested and later released on bail.

"We are assisting the police and can confirm the incident was not witnessed by the children, nor were they at risk," a spokesman of Harton primary told the newspaper.