Spurs fan stabbed by thugs 'out of danger'

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The Independent Online

A Tottenham Hotspur supporter had an emergency operation yesterday after he was left fighting for his life when he was stabbed during an attack by a gang of Lazio fans on Wednesday night.

Ashley Mills, 24, who was in Rome to see his team play, was caught up in the violence in which nine others were injured when a group of around 50 hardcore fans – known as "Ultras" – wielding knives and other weapons smashed their way into the Drunken Ship bar being used by Spurs fans.

Hospital staff said he was now out of danger, but his friends said they had feared the worst.

One Tottenham fan, Robert, said: "There were over 100 of them, some with heads covered. A group stayed outside and surrounded the place so no one could enter or leave."

Two other Tottenham supporters, Stephen Tierney 46, and Dave Lesley, 47, were among the nine British people known to have been hurt. They were discharged with light facial injuries. An American, not a Spurs fan, was also stabbed.

Landlord Marco Manzi said the gang descended on his American-owned bar in Campo de Fiori at around 1am. "The bar was full of about 30 English supporters. Most of them were aged between 40 and 50 and were well behaved. Then arrived what I presume were Italian supporters wearing scooter helmets with their faces covered with scarves, carrying stones and rocks.

"They attacked the English supporters and one of them was quite badly hurt," he told reporters.

Police were examining the blood-soaked cobbled streets around the bar yesterday after the gang ran off, reportedly throwing away weapons.

Last night, San Camillo hospital spokesman Valeria Fatoni said Mr Mills had stab injuries to the head and groin and had lost a lot of blood.

"He's now awake and out of danger and his brother has been with him," she said, before confirming another scan would be performed this morning to ensure the internal injuries had been dealt with before he could be released.

A spokesman for the Foreign Office said: "We are in contact with the Italian authorities and the Italian police, who are investigating."

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