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Fans face West Ham life bans after Man Utd team bus attacked

Published 11/05/2016

The Manchester United coach arrives for the Barclays Premier League match at Upton Park
The Manchester United coach arrives for the Barclays Premier League match at Upton Park

Football fans face life bans after four police officers were hurt when the Manchester United team bus was pelted with missiles ahead of a Premier League match.

No arrests have been made over criminal damage to the coach, which happened as the vehicle drove into Upton Park in east London for West Ham United's last match at the Boleyn Ground on Tuesday night.

None of the players on the bus were injured while the officers, all men, were struck by objects, a Metropolitan Police spokeswoman said.

One was cut on his face, another was hit on the head by a bottle and two others had bruising to the upper arms.

Officers from the Met's Central Football Unit are scouring CCTV footage and have appealed for witnesses, and West Ham have vowed to hand out life bans to any fans found responsible.

Three men were arrested during the game, including a 20-year-old on suspicion of affray and a 47-year-old and 18-year-old for pitch incursion.

A fan was seen to confront the visiting team's goalkeeper David De Gea after the home side scored the winning goal to make it 3-2.

Pictures also emerged appearing to show fans vandalising parts of the Upton Park stadium and taking chairs and signs as souvenirs after the game, which had been delayed by 45 minutes because of the attack on the coach.

Manchester United players including vice-captain Michael Carrick cowered in mock fear as the bus was pelted with missiles, video footage from inside the coach appears to show.

Bottles and other items were thrown at the bus and pieces were seen falling from the tinted windows as a crowd of fans gathered outside the east London ground, which has been home to the Hammers for 112 years.

A number of United players, wearing their team suits, are seen - in footage posted online - filming events outside the window as others lie in the aisle while thuds are heard and objects are seen being thrown at the windows.

Among those appearing to have taken to the aisle for refuge are England internationals Carrick and Phil Jones, and Belgian player Adnan Januzaj, while Cameron Borthwick-Jackson is seen sitting by the window with his phone.

Many of the players are heard shouting, with one exclaiming "mummy, mummy" in an apparently mocking tone while Jesse Lingard turns the phone towards himself and puts his hand in front of his mouth, appearing to feign shock.

Shortly after the incident United captain Wayne Rooney told Sky Sports: "It wasn't nice. The coach got smashed up, but we are here now. I'm sure you'll see the images.

"It's not for me to say, but it was disappointing of course. It's a big night for West Ham, but I'm sure West Ham as a club will be disappointed with what the fans have done."

Before kick-off, West Ham co-owner David Sullivan appeared to claim the incident had not taken place.

He told BBC Five Live: "There was no attack on the coach," and added: "If you check the coach there won't be any damage."

A West Ham United spokesman said: "We are aware that there were some supporters outside the Boleyn Ground who didn't act in an appropriate way when the Manchester United team bus was damaged.

"That was not acceptable and we will work with the police to identify those responsible and ban them for life."

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