Potteries derby ends in 11 arrests after seats ripped out and windows smashed

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A fierce local football derby ended with “considerable damage” caused to a stadium – including seats being ripped out, windows smashed and toilets broken.

More than 150 officers were deployed to the Checkatrade Trophy match between Staffordshire rivals Port Vale and Stoke City Under-21s at Vale Park on Tuesday night.

Staffordshire Police said 11 arrests had been made for violence and public order offences during the Potteries derby after disruptive behaviour from large sections of the away fans.

Chief Superintendent Wayne Jones, commander for the policing operation, said: “I would like to express my thanks to all the officers that helped us deliver a challenging policing operation. There was some despicable behaviour by a large number of fans, which has caused considerable damage to the away section of Vale Park.

“We are taking this very seriously and I expect there to be more arrests in the coming days as we examine CCTV coverage and gather evidence of the crimes committed.

“My officers have shown bravery and dedication tonight and the support from stewards and partners has been first class in ensuring that those intent on fighting each other were unable to do so.

“I am also grateful for local pubs working with us and shutting early to ensure the safety of those in Burslem.”

Mr Jones added: “This kind of behaviour is not acceptable and I would like to reassure you that we will do all we can to bring those responsible to justice.”

Adam Boulton, 39, a Stoke supporter who has been going to away matches for 25 years, condemned the behaviour of “mindless yobs who only went there to cause trouble”.

Potteries derby violence
Potteries derby violence

“During half-time the Stoke fans decided to trash the toilets. In the second half, things started to get worse, with parts of toilets seats being thrown along with the plastic bottles at the police and Vale fans and more flares,” he told the Press Association.

“It was horrible. I wanted to watch the match but you were fearful that a plastic bottle may be heading your way,” he added.

A Stoke spokesman said: “The actions of a minority of the crowd at last night’s Checkatrade Trophy game against Port Vale were deplorable.

“Where this behaviour involved so-called supporters of Stoke City we will be working closely with Staffordshire Police and Port Vale to bring the culprits to justice.

“We will be pushing for anyone found guilty of disorder on the night to be handed a lengthy football banning order.”

Port Vale won the match 4-0.