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 Atmosphere report

Sunderland AFC - Newcastle United (0-1)
Premier League, 26 April 2003
Stadium : Stadium Of Light
Attendance : 45.000

The Tyne Wear derby is one of the most fierce and passionate derbies in Britain. A long root of rivalry and violence before the football teams were even formed, huge divisions dating back to before the cival war.

My first derby was 2003 at the stadium of light. The police said all leave had been cancelled and a ring of steel and riot squads would around the stadium and the city to prevent clashes, it didn't work.

The match was Sunderland's best performance in a long time but still lost 1-0 thanks to a late goal being disallowed (wrongly) and tempers erupted. Items were flying towards the Newcastle fans, Sunderland fans dragged away and arrested by police for running towards the away stand.

The Newcastle fans were taunting us and everyone was furious. People ran at the Newcastle fans outside the ground and were beaten back by police. For about 20 minutes hundreds of Sunderland fans threw missiles at the police such as bricks and bottles and waited for a chance to attack the Newcastle fans (now well hidden away and behind police lines).

Fans were charged back by police batons and horses and ran into pubs returning throwing stools and glasses at the police. Later Newcastle fans were finally escorted across the bridge towards the train station in the city centre. Along the way a mob of around 1,000 Sunderland fans attacked throwing anything they could find and pushing police lines throwing fists and kicks into the Newcastle fans.

Police eventually restored order and lead the Newcastle fans onto a train back to Newcastle, the train was pelted with bricks as it went through Sunderland.

Report added : 16 April 2006
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