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Pensioner and grandson caught in middle of Dundee and Motherwell fans ‘punching lumps out of each other’

Dundee Motherwell Gordon police
Gordon Stewart and Aaron Rae.

A pensioner has described being caught in the middle of a brawl between Dundee FC and Motherwell fans after their game last weekend.

Gordon Stewart was at the match with grandson Aaron Rae, who is 11 and lives in Carnoustie.

Long-time supporter Gordon, who is disabled and walks with a stick, said rival fans met at the corner of Sandeman Street and Provost Road

He said a group of Motherwell fans then “charged” at Dundee fans and a violent brawl broke out. Images have appeared on social media appearing to show clashes between supporters.

Police have said despite being aware of “drunken disorder” in the area, “the crowds dispersed relatively quickly” and no criminal complaints had been received.

However, a 25-year-old man has been charged with a separate incident where a steward was allegedly assaulted in Dens Park.

 

Dundee Motherwell Gordon police
Gordon with Aaron.

Gordon, 73, who also lives in Carnoustie, said: “We took a while to get out of the Bobby Cox Stand because of me not being able to walk so quick.

“We got to the corner of Sandeman Street and Provost Road, outside Rough and Fraser. Then, all hell let loose.

“Motherwell fans were coming along the street, I think they were housed in the eastern side of the Main Stand.

“There were physical fights, in the middle of the road. All the traffic was held up. These guys, Motherwell fans, were running down the middle of the road, and just causing mayhem.

The corner of Provost Road and Sandeman Street, where Gordon said the rival fans clashed.

“When you’re in the middle of all that – there was fighting, people throwing tins – it was awful.”

Gordon said the issue wouldn’t have arisen if opposing fans were separated, as he said they previously were after games.

“Years ago, the police and stewards diverted away support away from the ground in a different direction, so that the two didn’t merge,” he said.

“But, this isn’t the first time this has happened. You’ve got myself, you’ve got grandmothers. There’s more females go to the matches now than ever before and they were caught up in this melee.

Dundee Motherwell Gordon police
Gordon at home in Carnoustie with Dundee FC-daft Aaron.

“It was awful. It really concerned me and I was concerned about my grandson, seeing this. I spoke to him a few times and asked if he was OK. And yes, he is, but I think once it happened, not one policeman, not one was to be seen.

“Nothing stops the rival fans from meeting now. Previously, police were on duty, and they would form a line across the road and divert home fans up towards (Clepington Road).

“But now they’re left to drift along the road. There was only one steward at the end of the road and I don’t know what happened to him, but you can’t criticise him.

“My car was parked near the bakers because I’ve got a disabled badge on, so I had to get there and get my grandson into the car. It was just awful.

‘Punching lumps out of a guy in the street’

“But, the problem is, either the club not paying the police, or the police not thinking about the problem. How they couldn’t think about that – two sets of fans merging.

“The problem is, there were no police whatsoever on that corner.

“There were between 10 and 20 people fighting I’d say. What happens is, when one starts battling, there’s this mentality of ‘let’s get in and help’ then everybody gets involved.

Dundee Motherwell Gordon police
Gordon and Aaron.

“Thankfully there wasn’t that many of them to cause too much problem, but there was a guy punching lumps out of a guy in the middle of the street.

“It’s something you don’t want your grandson to be involved with, or me being involved with it either.”

Gordon said he has previously written to Dundee FC bosses and was told the club would “look at its after-match policy”.

‘Complete and utter thoughtlessness’

Gordon added: “I just feel it’s another thing that can be brushed under the carpet, when it’s just complete and utter thoughtlessness from the police’s point of view.

“I’m not a police authority, I’m just a granddad who has been to the game many times, but what were they thinking about? Why didn’t they think where the clash points could be?

“The police certainly weren’t outside the ground, where I feel they should be.

“This isn’t about me, it’s about protecting people who go to the game and just encouraging the police and the club to think more about these types of things.”

‘We expect supporters to be considerate and law-abiding’

Chief Inspector Ross Fitzgerald, Police Scotland’s area commander for Dundee, said: “We are aware of drunken disorder in Provost Road and Dens Road area on Saturday August 14, after the Dundee and Motherwell football fixture.

“The crowds dispersed relatively quickly and we received no criminal complaints.  A 25-year old man was arrested within the ground for assaulting a steward, the steward was not injured.

“The man was released pending further inquiry.

“We continue to work closely with both clubs and stewards in Dundee in advance of games in order to keep people safe. We expect both sets of supporters attending to be considerate and law-abiding before, during and after the fixture.

“Officers will deal effectively with anyone who is involved in any disorder or criminality at football games.’’

Dundee FC bosses said the club had assisted Police Scotland with inquiries but declined to comment further.

Dundee vs Motherwell: Fan arrested for alleged assault on steward during Dens Park clash