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23 held over football disorder

A large group of football fans arrested after trouble broke out around a highly charged local derby match have been bailed.

The 23 people - branded "so-called" fans by Staffordshire Police, were all detained after problems before, during and after yesterday's League One game between Port Vale Football Club and Wolverhampton Wanderers.

The force said: "Around two thirds of those arrested associate themselves with Port Vale. The remaining number are believed to have been associated with the visiting team (Wolves).

"A detailed investigation is under way into the offences committed and evidence will be put before the courts in relation to the criminal behaviour of those to decided to become involved."

Officers were pelted with bottles and missiles and a police car smashed up after trouble-making fans spilled into Burslem town centre in Stoke-on-Trent after the fixture had played out at the home side's Vale Park ground.

Two people were treated for dog bit wounds inflicted by police dog units according to the force.

Police were highly critical of the actions of what they said was "a significant group" of home fans involved in the violence who targeted police lines, despite lengthy preparations by the force and both clubs in a bid to avoid any troubles.

Among the arrests; nine people detained before kick-off while another four were arrested during the match for offences including setting off flares and going onto the pitch.

The force is scouring CCTV from the day's fixture, which Wolves won 3 - 1, in a bid to trace everybody who had a hand in causing trouble.

Port Vale said it would fully back any police action against any of its fans involved.


From Belfast Telegraph