Men sought after train attack in football fan

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The Independent Online

Detectives hunting football hooligans who carried out a vicious assault issued CCTV images today of a gang of men they want to trace.

A West Ham fan was attacked by five men, believed to be Stoke City supporters, on a train at Manchester Piccadilly station.

The 40-year-old victim, from London, was punched 20 times on the head and suffered cuts and bruises to his face.

The incident happened at around 8.30pm on Saturday August 28 as West Ham fans travelled home after their game at Manchester United.

The same day Stoke fans were travelling back north after their team played Chelsea.

British Transport Police (BTP) today issued images from CCTV at the station of a group of men who they say may have information about the incident.

Detective Constable Dave Cowan, investigating for BTP, said: "The train, the 8.30pm Piccadilly to London Euston service, was extremely busy, with a large number of football fans on board.

"Generally the behaviour of those on board was good, but a small number of fans - believed to be Stoke City supporters - seemed intent on causing trouble.

"A group of five men singled out the West Ham fan and punched him repeatedly to the head, striking him an estimated 20 times and causing cuts and bruises to his face.

"Following the assault the attackers left the train to catch another service.

"It is vital we trace those responsible as we simply will not tolerate any level of violence on the railway.

"We believe the men captured by CCTV may have key information about the incident and I urge anyone who recognises them, or who has information about the incident to come forward."

British Transport Police can be called on 0800 40 50 40.