Police condemn disorder at Sunderland vs Celtic - but say incidents 'were dealt with quickly'

Police in Monkwearmouth in the build up to the Sunderland v Celtic friendly
Police in Monkwearmouth in the build up to the Sunderland v Celtic friendly

Police have condemned disorder in and around today's friendly between Sunderland and Celtic at the Stadium of Light - and urged fans not to cause trouble after the match.

It comes after a man was left with serious head injuries outside Fletcher's Off-licence in Hendon, Sunderland, where reports were also made of damage and assault.

Fans have taken to social media to bemoan outbreaks of trouble before, during and after the game - though Northumbria Police has issued a statement dismissing claims of a fatality and widespread disorder in North East cities today.

Assistant Chief Constable Helen McMillan of Northumbria Police urged fans to go home peacefully and not to indulge in excess alcohol if they are out socialising.

She said: “Fans come here to enjoy the football; many with young children and we here at Northumbria Police do all we can to ensure they enjoy the day whichever team they support.

“Unfortunately we did have some incidents of disorder in and around Sunderland between Sunderland and Celtic fans and while police dealt with them quickly, it is a shame these types of incidents happen at all.”

Assistant Chief Constable McMillan advised fans going on to socialise after the match "not to let alcohol ruin their day"

She added: "Please take care when drinking and make sure you have plans to get home or back to hotels safely."

Sunderland were defeated by five goals to nil in the pre-season game marking 20 years since the Stadium of Light first opened its doors and 50 years since Celtic won the European Cup.