England

Ian Hambridge: 30th anniversary of Leeds fan's death at Birmingham City

Riot at Birmingham City v Leeds United in 1985
Image caption The riot at the Birmingham v Leeds game was on the same day as the Bradford fire

The father of a teenage fan fatally injured 30 years ago during fighting between Birmingham City and Leeds United fans has said safety at grounds has come "a very long way" since then.

A wall collapsed on to Ian Hambridge, a 15-year-old Leeds fan, during the trouble at St Andrews on 11 May 1985.

His death was overshadowed by the Bradford City fire on the same day.

Vic Hambridge said his son was a "happy-go-lucky lad" attending his first football match.

"There was a weakness in the wall where all these fans pushed it and Ian and a few more fans got caught under it," he said.

'Never to be forgotten'

The teenager died from head injuries the following day at Smethwick Neurological Hospital.

Image copyright Birmingham City Football Club
Image caption A plaque to Ian Hambridge was unveiled at Birmingham City's St Andrew's ground in 1998

His father, who lives in Northampton, was not at the game.

"A lot's been improved since then [at stadiums] - they've had seating put in instead of terracing and they've come a very long way," he said.

A plaque to the teenager was unveiled at Birmingham City's St Andrew's ground in 1998, following a campaign by relatives.

The inscription finishes: "As a football supporter, one of us, never to be forgotten."

Birmingham City tweeted: "Today we remember those who perished at Bradford and our thoughts will always remain with the family of Ian Hambridge."

Image caption The disturbance at St Andrews was viewed as one of the worst riots in English football

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