Nottingham

Notts County coaches attacked after Wolves game

Notts County fans have said they were ambushed by "brick-throwing yobs" after the team's Carling Cup defeat by Wolverhampton on Tuesday night.

Three supporters' coaches were damaged, one severely, as they were driven out of a coach park near Wolves' Molineux ground.

One female passenger, a 78-year-old, was treated in hospital after being hit on the head with a brick.

The match was a stewards-only fixture with no police presence.

During the game Notts County player Lee Hughes had displayed a T-shirt under his club shirt bearing the words 'Boing Boing' - a chant associated with former club and Wolves local rivals West Brom.

Supporter Richard Dearnley described the atmosphere after the game - which Wolverhampton Wanderers won 4-2 - as "intimidating", but stressed there had been no trouble between rival fans outside the ground.

Hiding in trees

He said: "There were dozens of youngish Wolves fans - teenagers that came round specifically just to goad the Notts supporters - but we just ignored them and carried on walking back to the coach park.

"Once back at the coach park we got on the coaches and the next thing we knew one coach had a brick through the window."

He added: "There was worse to come when we actually left the coach park because when the coach in front of us pulled out, immediately after it turned out into the road, some youths ran out and bricked it.

Image caption About £6,000 of damage was caused to the coaches

"So they put the windows through in that coach as well. We were following right behind and seconds later a brick smashed one of our windows, then two seconds later the next window was smashed as well."

Iris Smith, chair of Notts County Supporters' Club, was also on one of the coaches. She described the attack as "absolutely dreadful" and said youths had been hiding in trees and bushes.

She also claimed that police had failed to provide protection to the away supporters.

However, West Midlands Police said it had pre-arranged a stewards-only fixture with both clubs.

A force spokesman said: "Ahead of each season, the police and the club evaluate which fixtures need to be policed. Following last night's incident, the football planning unit will re-evaluate this season's non-policed fixtures."

An investigation into the incident has started, he added.

Nigel Bullimore, operations manager at coach firm Premiere Travel, praised the driver of the most severely-damaged vehicle.

He said: "He must have been petrified last night. Full credit to him..."

He said the damage would cost about £6,000 and that other trips may have to be cancelled.

In a statement, Wolverhampton Wanderers FC said they had been made aware of a serious incident at Horseley Fields near the city centre.

The club's chief executive Jez Moxey said: "Words can't adequately describe our anger and frustration at the reports of such irresponsible and stupid behaviour of someone or some people last night.

"It is totally and utterly unacceptable and if the perpetrators can be identified, and they turn out to be Wolves supporters, they will never be allowed inside Molineux again.

"I feel terrible for those Notts County fans who were exposed to this - having supported their team in such admirable style, they should have been able to return home without some moron or morons throwing objects at their coaches. It's despicable."

Notts County's chief executive James Rodwell described the attack as "cowardly" and said the club would be working with Wolves and the police to help catch those responsible.

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