200 fans invade FA Cup tie pitch

MORE THAN 200 football supporters invaded the pitch at Maine Road two minutes from the end of Manchester City's FA Cup quarter-final in which they lost 4-2 to Tottenham Hotspur yesterday - bringing back memories of the Hillsborough tragedy for the referee, writes Joe Lovejoy.

Ray Lewis also officiated at that FA Cup tie in 1989 where 96 in the crowd lost their lives. 'When I saw a woman carried away on a stretcher, Hillsborough flashed through my mind,' he said. 'I thought, 'Oh no, not again'. Mercifully, what happened here was controlled very quickly.'

He had been frightened, and concerned for the players' safety, but had not considered abandoning the match. 'I was determined to make sure that the idiots weren't going to beat us. Both clubs wanted to finish the game, and so did I'

Superintendent Roger Coupe, match day commander, said last night that only prompt action by his officers and club stewards had prevented catastrophe. A report will go to the Football Association.

City supporters rushed on to the playing area and goaded visiting fans into retaliation. Play was held up for 12 minutes. There were two injuries and 20


(Photograph omitted)

Victory marred, page 30