United skipper slams West Ham fans for pelting team bus with cans and bottles on arrival at Upton Park
London: English football authorities launched an investigation after fans pelted Manchester United’s team bus with cans and bottles, injuring two people and delaying the last ever game at West Ham’s Boleyn Ground.
The bus carrying the Manchester United team is escorted by police after a window was smashed on its way to West Ham’s Boleyn ground before their English Premier League match in London on Tuesday. Pic/AFP
Manchester United’s players took refuge on the floor of the coach after it was held up near the stadium by chanting fans who hurled dozens of missiles and let off smoke bombs, as mounted police tried to keep order.
A woman and a child are helped past West Ham fans as people become violent at police outside the Boleyn ground. Pic/Getty Images
The bus was left with gaping holes in the protective glass covering its windows in the ugly scenes, which held up kick-off for 45 minutes on Tuesday.
The incident carried echoes of England’s notorious hooliganism of the 1980s and overshadowed the final game after 112 years at the Boleyn Ground, also known as Upton Park. The Football Association and police both said they would investigate. During the game, won 3-2 by West Ham, Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea appeared to have bottles thrown at him after his team’s first goal.
“The FA strongly condemns the unsavoury incidents this evening involving both the Manchester United team coach outside West Ham United’s Boleyn Ground and objects thrown from a section of the home support during the game,” it said.
“We will work closely with both clubs and the Metropolitan Police to fully investigate these matters.”
A short video surfaced on Twitter which seemed to be filmed by midfielder Jesse Lingard and showed Manchester United’s players lying on the floor of the bus.
Players lie on the floor
Lingard could be seen pulling faces at the camera and shouting “Mummy, mummy!” as players shouted, laughed and swore. Phil Jones, Michael Carrick and Adnan Januzaj, all wearing their club suits, were seen squeezed together on the floor in the aisle between the seats.
Man United captain Wayne Rooney later said the vehicle was “smashed up”. “We know it’s a big game for West Ham, a big night for them, leaving the stadium, but I’m sure West Ham as a club will be disappointed with what the fans have done,” Rooney said. “It wasn’t nice,” he said.