Sunderland v Celtic: What fans said about the violence

Celtic brought an estimated 8,000 fans to Sunderland for yesterday's game.
Celtic brought an estimated 8,000 fans to Sunderland for yesterday's game.

Sunderland and Celtic fans have taken to social media to have their say about the trouble which blighted the pre-season friendly between the clubs at the Stadium of Light.

Police confirmed today that 21 arrests were made yesterday before, during and after the match.

Fans Robbie Girdwood wrote on Facebook: "Sunderland football club have to take responsibility for total disorganisation inside the ground. Celtic fans walking around goading Sunderland fans. No segregation, flares being thrown by Celtic fans. Don't know how more people weren't hurt. I felt for the stewards who were put in an impossible position today. The first time I have left a match early - feared for my safety- witnessed more trouble around stadium - shops closing early to avoid being ransacked. I would argue the situation was far from controlled."

David Gold wrote: "I work in the ground and by far it was the worst experience of my life! Being spat at, being threatened by saying I'm gunna get stabbed, getting pushed and drink poured on me, all because we had to shut the bars, smoke bombs thrown at the bars. But must say not all of them were bad."

David Kay wrote: "Minority of Celtic fans were intent on causing trouble today and did."

Ivor Laidler said: "The police know Celtic are trouble... So why did they let them come here?"

Keith Nichols: "Why is this fixture still allowed? It has caused trouble for decades!"

Lynn Blakey: "I have never seen so many police vans and horses outside the Wheatcheaf pub in all my life. It was full of Celtic fans, all locked inside, causing absolute mayhem. Then, as we walked down Roker Avenue, coming towards us were around 15 Celtic fans all minding their own business and even said hello to our kids, so let's not condemn them all with the idiots that had to go out of there way to cause trouble."

Sam Priestess said: "All the Celtic fans I came across today were no bother - in fact one gave my 5 year old his hat and another 2 gave him £5 each! The ones singing for Dave the Rave at St Peters were just out to enjoy themselves too."

The Celtic fans themselves said it was a small minority of their travelling support who got involved in trouble, with most intent on enjoying a day out.

One supporter, Bongo, wrote on the Kerrydale Street fans' forum: "Mixed well before the game, I saw/felt no tension. We arrived at the ground about 2.20 though, so seem to have missed any bother. After the game, the police were not letting fans into the town centre, so we decided to get out of dodge straight away. Atmosphere at the game was tremendous."

Weebaldy added: "Spoke to a few.guys who went down and they said that had been drinking and mixing with some Sunderland fans early doors and there was no hassle. However, they did say they got pelters on the way to the ground from opposition fans, some with Hun (Rangers) tops on, waving red hand flags and singing 'no surrender to the IRA'. Unfortunately Celtic fans will always be targeted, no matter where they go in England, by right wing/loyalist thugs."

McAvennie wrote: "Had a great day by dodging the town centre and drinking at Roker beach. Didn't see any trouble. Knew as soon as the Robinson thing was circulated that it was a set-up to cause trouble, folk should be smarter not to give them attention. Inevitable that the far right/No Surrender pumpkins would be out looking for trouble. Lot of loyalist graffiti around the city, which, having spent a lot of time in Sunderland, I've never seen before. Obvious attempts to get a reaction.".