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Canaries launch probe into pitch invasion

PUBLISHED: 06:00 11 August 2009 | UPDATED: 11:27 06 July 2010

Norwich City FC is holding an inquiry into how two fans managed to get on to the pitch

Norwich City FC is holding an inquiry into how two fans managed to get on to the pitch

David Bale

Norwich City FC is holding an inquiry into how two fans managed to get on to the pitch during the club's disastrous first match of the season on Saturday.

Norwich City FC is holding an inquiry into how two fans managed to get on to the pitch during the club's disastrous first match of the season on Saturday.

Mark Warman, 43, and Daniel Warman, 18, believed to be father and son, were cautioned by police after encroaching on to the pitch while watching the Canaries lose 7-1 to Colchester United.

The two men from the New Costessey area were photographed as they appeared to throw season tickets towards Norwich manager Bryan Gunn.

The club said there would be an independent inquiry into the incident, which saw the two men confront staff in the technical area and scuffle with stewards in the tunnel as they were led away.

As part of the investigation, which should be concluded by the end of next week, the club will consider what action it will be taking against the pair.

Under Football League Ground Regulations, it is an offence to enter on to the playing area without lawful authority.

A club spokesman said: “We take the safety of our supporters and our staff very seriously at Norwich City. There will be a thorough independent inquiry into the safety measures which were in place on Saturday and the incident involving the two men, who have subsequently been cautioned by police.”

Police said on Saturday that the two men had been arrested and charged with pitch encroachment, and were due to appear before Norwich magistrates yesterday.

But a police spokesman later said that, as the two men had no previous convictions and were not known to its football intelligence unit, a decision was made to just caution them.

The men ran on to the pitch from the Snake Pit area just after the fourth Colchester goal was scored.

They were able to get to within yards of the dugout where they threw, what appeared to be season tickets, at Bryan Gunn.

They were tackled by stewards and other officials before eventually being taken down the tunnel where they were arrested.

Following the turbulent match, which ended in a record home defeat for city, five other men were arrested by British Transport Police who boarded the train at Diss following complaints of disorder.

The men, who are thought to be Colchester supporters, have been bailed pending further inquiries.

Hundreds of supporters left Carrow Road early as Gunn's team went five goals down to Colchester at half-time and booing could be heard as far away as the Castle Museum.

When the full-time whistle had blown, many fans gathered outside of the stadium where they shouted “what a load of rubbish” near the directors' entrance in the City Stand.

A campaign has been set up to persuade the club not to give the two men a lifetime ban. The 'Please Don't Ban the Norwich 2' campaign can be visited on the Pink 'Un website at http://www.pinkun.com/cs/forums/3/1791115/ShowPost.aspx.


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