North Wales Police are investigating after offensive banners were displayed during Saturday’s football match between Wrexham and Chester at the Racecourse stadium.
We reported on the match, and the banners appearing live via our @wrexham twitter account:
Wrexham banner directed at Chester fans appeared to read “2 dead fans, 1 dead club”
— Wrexham.com (@wrexham) August 31, 2013
Although several arrests were made for drunk and disorderly behaviour and assault on the day, an investigation is now underway following complaints that extremely offensive banners were displayed by some Wrexham fans towards Chester fans in an adjacent stand.
Eastern Division Superintendent, Sacha Hatchett said “The policing operation was successful and the majority of fans were well behaved and there was little trouble.
“Two men have so far been charged with being drunk and disorderly and one man has been charged with assault.
“However, our inquiries are continuing and we are carrying out a thorough investigation, including the examination of extensive CCTV footage, to trace those responsible for displaying the offensive banners and identify anyone else who committed criminal offences during the match.
“We expect to be making further arrests shortly to bring these offenders before the courts.”
From our report of the game on Saturday we described what happened: “Prior to kick off we saw seats being ripped out of the Chester stand, something that looked like a flare being lit by Wrexham fans in the Mold Road stand plus a banner being unfurled.
“The banner was held by people in the Wrexham end, and said “2 Dead Fans And 1 Dead Club” with another equally grim one nearby. The appearance of these was well beyond the usual derby match ‘banter’ we expected. The flags were a direct reference to a deceased Chester fans, with a flag naming one inviting people to ‘join X in hell’. Unsurprisingly these flags created even more tension at an already heated occasion.”
Wrexham FC have said “It should go without saying that the club condemns such actions, whether they be flares, smoke bombs, offensive banners, offensive chanting or any other anti-social behaviour.”
“Our aim is to make sure that those responsible will be held accountable for their actions before the courts.
“Once the legal system has run its course, then the club will look at possible domestic sanctions that can be taken against offenders. ”
Anyone with information is encouraged to call police on 101.
You can read our fuller ‘inside the bubble’ report from the Racecourse and inside the police station here, and like most football fans interested in on the pitch stuff, you can read our match report here.