Northern Ireland

Football boss 'feared for life' during Londonderry trouble

One of the directors of Derry City Football Club has said he feared for his life when trouble erupted following a Setanta Cup clash with Linfield on Tuesday night.

Buses carrying Linfield supporters were attacked and there were claims that visiting fans attacked houses close to the Brandywell stadium. One man has been arrested.

Both clubs have been meeting to discuss what happened. Linfield said it was investigating the trouble.

Martin Mullan of Derry City Football Club claimed he ran from a gang of Linfield supporters and had to be rescued by Brandywell stewards.

"They could have killed me, they had it in their eyes, they shouted: 'There's the manager, or there's the director, let's kill him'.

"The evil in some of their faces has left me extremely shaken. How our stewards held themselves together, they were taking serious, serious abuse."

Mr Mullan said he was spat at and had been left traumatised by the incident.

"I have never been so scared in my whole life," he said. "Those people last night were just there to cause problems and nothing else."

Linfield Football Club has condemned the trouble and said it was "regrettable" that a "small element" had reacted in such a manner.

Image caption The trouble erupted after the match between Derry City and Linfield

In a statement, it said a sizeable security operation had been put in place ahead of the match.

"Contrary to how it has been portrayed by certain sections of the media, to which Linfield FC take great exception, the vast majority of Linfield supporters entered and exited the allocated seating areas in the stadium in an exemplary manner under the control of Linfield FC stewards and a private security firm engaged by this club," it said.

"The club are sure that the vast majority of our impeccably behaved supporters who attended the game would join us in utterly condemning those Linfield supporters who were involved in any unseemly behaviour.

"Linfield Football Club will carry out a full debrief on all events surrounding the game and where necessary, take appropriate action."