Pitch-invading Widnes fans kick Castleford mascot's head across field after defeat in Challenge Cup at Leigh Sports Village

VIDEO: Pitch-invading fans kick mascot's head across field after defeat

A pitch-invading Widnes fan kicks the Castleford mascot's head across the pitch at Leigh Sports Village. Picture from Barry E Crossan via Twitter.

The scene outside Leigh Sports Village after yesterday's game

The scene outside Leigh Sports Village after yesterday's game

First published in News
Last updated
This Is Lancashire: Photograph of the Author by , Leigh reporter

WIDNES rugby league fans stormed onto a the field at Leigh Sports Village before ripping off the Castleford mascot's head and kicking it around the pitch.

A number of Widnes Vikings supporters invaded the pitch immediately after they were beaten 28-6 by Castleford Tigers in the Challenge Cup semi-final yesterday.

Violence broke out as police and stewards attempted to restore order, and many pictures of the trouble have emerged via social media, including one of the head being removed from one of Castleford's tiger mascots and kicked away.

Now an appeal for information has received an "overwhelming" response, Widnes bosses say.

A statement released by the RFL and Leigh Sports Village reads: "The RFL will await reports from the stadium, the police and the two clubs before deciding what action to take.

"The behaviour of the vast majority of fans was exemplary and the incident was not what is expected from rugby league supporters.

"This should not detract from two very successful semi-finals."

The RFL's chief executive, Nigel Wood, said: "The sport has every right to be disappointed with the behaviour of a minority of Widnes fans.

"We will work with the clubs to identify any supporters who encroached onto the pitch. There is no place for such behaviour in rugby league."

Widnes have asked supporters to report what they had seen via a special email address, tellus@widnesvikings.co.uk.

The chief executive of the Vikings, James Rule, said in a statement on the Widnes website: "It's evident from the overnight response that our genuine supporters are as disappointed and frustrated by the scenes as everybody is within the club.

"We've had an overwhelming response and the information we have received will be invaluable in conducting a thorough investigation."

The Widnes Vikings issued an apology earlier today to the sport of rugby league, the BBC and the partners of the Challenge Cup, Tetley’s, for the "disgraceful scenes".

A Greater Manchester Police spokesman said: “At the end of the Castleford Tigers v Widnes Vikings Challenge Cup semi-final at Leigh Sports Village, a minority of fans from the Widnes section invaded the pitch.

“Supporting stewards, officers from GMP ensured the supporters left the pitch and made their way out of the stadium.

“Minor damage was caused to seating in the stadium, pitchside billboards and other signage.

“One woman suffered a twisted ankle but there were no serious injuries and no arrests were made.”

Comments (6)

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4:29pm Mon 11 Aug 14

gladrill says...

I have never seen this at a rugby match in all the years i have supported Wigan Warriors. It is disgusting. Lets see what the Rugby League will do about this.
I have never seen this at a rugby match in all the years i have supported Wigan Warriors. It is disgusting. Lets see what the Rugby League will do about this. gladrill
  • Score: 8

4:35pm Mon 11 Aug 14

M.I.B. says...

I always thought rugby was a gentleman's game. Not any more
I always thought rugby was a gentleman's game. Not any more M.I.B.
  • Score: 3

5:25pm Mon 11 Aug 14

hoping4peace says...

i think, hope the rugby league will deal with this a lot quicker and more effectively than than the spineless FA will.
the response from the widness fans alone should make it easy to bring the idiots to task.
i think, hope the rugby league will deal with this a lot quicker and more effectively than than the spineless FA will. the response from the widness fans alone should make it easy to bring the idiots to task. hoping4peace
  • Score: 10

6:04pm Mon 11 Aug 14

Citizen Cane says...

Violence has been policed out of football, so the nutters practice elsewhere...and the police and courts are toothless. Find the offenders and they get a ... caution
Violence has been policed out of football, so the nutters practice elsewhere...and the police and courts are toothless. Find the offenders and they get a ... caution Citizen Cane
  • Score: 2

10:20pm Mon 11 Aug 14

thedom.com says...

M.i.b. .....a very small minority of drunken idiots .far more safer than foot ball matches ,cheaper and more entertaining ,without prima donnas too
M.i.b. .....a very small minority of drunken idiots .far more safer than foot ball matches ,cheaper and more entertaining ,without prima donnas too thedom.com
  • Score: 4

10:03am Tue 12 Aug 14

renovatedhouserunner says...

T-shirts aren't in fashion in Widnes then
T-shirts aren't in fashion in Widnes then renovatedhouserunner
  • Score: 0

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