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Feb 16 2007

By Brenda Hickman, The Evening Chronicle




It's the ugly face of football - soccer savages spoiling for a pre-arranged fight with rivals in a pub. Violence erupted inside the Three Bulls Heads, in Newcastle city centre, after an FA Cup clash between Newcastle United and Coventry City on January 29, 2005.


The thugs, members of the notorious Newcastle Gremlins, desperately tried to find hooligans from Coventry to fight.


But they failed to organise a clash and turned on genuine Coventry fans, men and women, who had been enjoying a quiet drink in the Percy Street pub.


Caught on CCTV, the gang steamed into the bar shortly after 6pm. They attacked the startled visitors, throwing bottles and glasses at them.


Then they waded in kicking and punching like a scene from a Wild West saloon.


Today seven of those involved, some Newcastle soccer yobs already shamed with banning orders in previous clashes, faced their fate at Newcastle Crown Court.


As soccer's hooligan faction has already had fatal consequences for Italian football, with the death of a police officer, Northumbria Police today showed they were determined to crackdown on organised violence.


The accused awaiting sentence today were all arrested for violent disorder following the pub attack.


They were later jointly charged with affray and had pleaded guilty at previous hearings.


John Jackson, 25, of Isabella Walk, Throckley, Newcastle, Michael Dafter, 26, of Queen's Court, Teams, Jason Allen, 34, of Coleridge Avenue, both Gateshead, Craig Heward, 25, of Barton Close, Wallsend, Noel Renton, 30, of Kidlandee Place, Paul Waugh, 34, of Orpington Avenue, Walker, both Newcastle, and Jamie Clark, 19, (also known as Naderi) of Falcon Way, South Shields were all caught in the police operation.


Sgt Paul Evans, formerly of the Football Intelligence Unit, said: "This was a premeditated attack.


"During the course of the inquiry it became clear that certain members of this group were trying to target Coventry hooligans.


"When they failed to arrange a fight with their counterparts they were determined to attack any Coventry fans in this pub."


From the evidence police gathered, the gang entered the pub after being tipped off when to strike.


They began attacking a group of Coventry supporters after running across the room.


Bottles and glasses picked up from the tables had already been hurled at the visitors - many of whom were standing with women partners at the time. They then waded into the supporters as serious violence erupted.


Some 44 seconds later, the fight spilled out on to the streets, as those under attack tried to escape from another door into Percy Street.


Sgt Evans added: "Dozens of innocent people were passing by when the melee spilled out and were clearly alarmed to be caught up in it.


"It was down to pure chance that no-one was more seriously injured as a result of the incident.


"The majority of supporters are decent people and it is the minority who spoil it.


"Anyone who oversteps the mark will not only end up with a criminal record, but could be stopped from attending future games for a lengthy period of time."


Two of the accused, Heward, and Clark ran but were arrested minutes later around the corner after they were tracked by CCTV operators.


Officers from the FIU began tracking the suspects who fled the scene.


And three months later they swooped on houses in a series of raids to arrest others involved.


Only six months earlier, Jackson had been arrested and booted out of Portugal during Euro 2004.


He had protested his innocence saying he had been wrongly labelled a soccer yob and had nothing to do with football violence


Yet Jackson was there with his pals at the heart of the violence in Newcastle.


And in Jackson's house, police found evidence of his obsession with football violence, including books, numerous DVDs, videos and even his own press cuttings of his previous arrest.


On his computer - under files entitled "Gremlins" - there were photographs of Jackson with his co-accused at other matches.


Police were able to seize mobile phones, clothes and other property for analysis to build the case against the suspects.


Several people were said to have been injured during the violence inside the pub, according to staff.


But as the Coventry fans fled, officers were unable to track down injured victims.


Although innocent Coventry fans were targeted in the pub ambush, police monitored messages about the attack posted on websites of known Coventry City hooligans - known as The Legion.


Sgt Evans said: "We still have the resources in the FIU to target and tackle those who organise football violence and we are determined to arrest and bring these football hooligans to justice. "


Three of those arrested had already been on banning orders from previous soccer-related violence.


Heward, Clark and Waugh all pleaded guilty at Newcastle Crown Court in November. Allen, Dafter, Jackson and Renton were due to go on trial but changed their pleas to guilty on January 22 this year.


All seven were also banned from travelling to the 2006 World Cup finals in Germany as part of their bail conditions.


The bail condition banned them from Newcastle city centre before and after Newcastle home games, they were not allowed within five miles of any England or Newcastle game anywhere in the country, and not allowed to enter the Three Bulls Heads pub.





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The thing is that regardless whether the story refers to a social problem or not it still reflects badly on Newcastle United.  Showing that a proportion of our fan base is yet to emerge from cave man status.


What the fuck has it got to with Newcastle United?


Did this happen in the ground? NO

Had those involved been to the match? NO

Is this the type of brief scuffle that happens every Friday and Saturday night in every single town and city in the UK? YES


Very minor incident blown out of all proportion by local comic that masqerades as a newspaper.


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Guest elbee909

"As soccer's hooligan faction has already had fatal consequences for Italian football, with the death of a police officer, Northumbria Police today showed they were determined to crackdown on organised violence."


Nothing to do with each other!  Nothing to do with each other!


Might as well have said "With Saddam Hussein's execution still fresh in their minds, the gov't today drew up their latest manifesto for transport policy".



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What has it got to do with football? What offence was comitted INSIDE SJP?



This is a social problem which in reality is not anything to do with NUFC.


Bang on, I used to work with a boy who called himself a Cardiff hooligan, He wasnt interested in football or supported Cardiff he just tagged along to away games to start fights. How can Cardiff be blamed for that?

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