Tyne & Wear

Wear-Tyne derby fans praised for 'passionate and peaceful' day

Jermain Defoe tears Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Jermain Defoe, who scored the only goal, said its importance had made it an emotional moment

Police have praised the vast majority of fans for a "passionate and peaceful" Wear-Tyne derby.

Nearly 50,000 supporters gathered at the Stadium of Light on Easter Sunday to watch Sunderland beat Newcastle 1-0.

Northumbria Police had raised concerns ahead of the late afternoon fixture, which kicked-off at 16:00 BST for the first time in 14 years.

But police said fans represented themselves and their clubs "impeccably" with just 25 arrests made on the day.

In Sunderland and Newcastle officers carried out visits to bars and pubs and spoke to fans who were in "good spirits" and "responded well" to officers, police said.

Ch Supt Steve Neill said: "They [the fans] enjoyed the Wear-Tyne derby for the great occasion that it is.

"Twenty-five arrests out of a crowd of 50,000 is low and I'm pleased that the vast majority of fans who attended today were clearly there to enjoy the football and were not interested in causing trouble.

"I'd like to praise supporters from both clubs - they worked well with officers on the ground, were extremely patient and good natured and enjoyed the day in the best sprit."

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