United supporters distance themselves from ‘rogue elements’

Police move in to separate rival factions at Bridge Street during disorder following the Ballymena United v Coleraine match.
Police move in to separate rival factions at Bridge Street during disorder following the Ballymena United v Coleraine match.

Ballymena United supporters have distanced themselves from the actions of a “rogue element” of people involved in “violent disorder” following last night’s JBE League Cup quarter-final against Coleraine.

In a statement issued on behalf of Ballymena United Supporters’ Liaison Officer Philip Simpson and the club’s four official supporters’ clubs, the club condemns “the violent disorder which occurred outside the Showgrounds and further into the town centre”.

“The supporters of Ballymena United FC...are disgusted by the scenes of disorder which took place last night following the final whistle.

“Whilst our club is not answerable for the actions of the opposition following, it is now obvious that rogue elements have attached themselves to BUFC and have become intent on engaging in behaviour which is unacceptable and detrimental to the reputations of us all.

“No innocent supporter should have to run the gauntlet of physical violence while exiting a football ground under a hail of bottles and stones - no matter which direction they may come from.

“As supporters, we have a duty to each other to represent our club in the most favourable light possible and scenes like those last night fall far short of the mark.

“They fall short too, in terms of the respect we are obliged to show the residents of Warden Street and the wider community on whom the club rely for support.

“Most seriously of all, we need to bear the safety of our fellow fans in mind and ensure that the next generation of Sky Blue fans aren’t dissuaded from following in our footsteps by the anti-social actions of the minority.

“Let us be clear that those individuals who attend any match intent on trouble are not welcome among us and we say simply, not in our name,” the statement adds.