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West Ham to issue life bans for Man United bus attackers

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Winston Reid (second right) was the hero in West Ham’s 3-2 win over Manchester United in the last game at the Boleyn Ground before the Hammers move to the Olympic stadium. Photo: Getty Images

Winston Reid (second right) was the hero in West Ham’s 3-2 win over Manchester United in the last game at the Boleyn Ground before the Hammers move to the Olympic stadium. Photo: Getty Images

West Ham will issue life bans to any fans found responsible for attacking the Manchester United team coach before Tuesday’s game at Upton Park.

A window on the bus was smashed and the kick-off delayed by 45 minutes as a result of the trouble.

“We are aware that there were some supporters outside the Boleyn Ground who didn’t act in an appropriate way,” a club statement read.

The Football Association also condemned the “unsavoury incidents”.

It added: “We will work closely with both clubs and the Metropolitan Police to fully investigate these matters.”

Bottles were also thrown at Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea during the match, while another fan invaded the pitch to confront the Spaniard.

West Ham eventually won 3-2 in what was their final game at the ground before moving to the Olympic Stadium.

The club statement continued: “It was an extraordinary night full of extraordinary moments in front of extraordinary fans, 99% of whom behaved impeccably and were a credit to the club.

“We have already had thousands of tweets and emails from fans to say how proud they were to be a part of such a special evening in West Ham’s history.”

However, the club said the behaviour of some fans was “not acceptable” and insisted they “will work with the police to identify those responsible and ban them for life”.

West Ham vice-chairman Karren Brady used Twitter to condemn the attack on Manchester United’s bus.

She added: “The events in the stadium last night were incredible and it would be a shame if the actions of a mindless few outside overshadowed them.

“Their behaviour was unacceptable and won’t be stood for. But my overriding memory will not be of them but of a fitting farewell to the Boleyn.”

Footage filmed on the coach by Manchester United winger Jesse Lingard showed the players shouting, screaming, laughing and hiding on the floor as the coach was hit by objects thrown outside the ground.

“It wasn’t nice, the coach got smashed up,” said Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney told Sky Sports. “I’m sure West Ham as a club will be disappointed with what the fans have done.”

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal, whose side missed a chance to move up into fourth in the table, added: “I think the images shall tell everything.”

Speaking immediately in the wake of the incident, West Ham co-chairman David Sullivan denied the coach had been attacked.

“There were people around it and people were being pushed in all directions but there was no attack on the coach,” he told BBC Radio 5 live.

When told there were images on social media of bottles being thrown towards it, he replied: “If you check the coach, there won’t be any damage.”



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