Police hunt football pitch joy rider


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The Independent Online

A manic driver sped on to a football field during a match and caused chaos with a potentially lethal joy ride around the pitch.

Players, fans and match officials stood stunned as the driver and a passenger sped around the centre circle laughing.

But police are hoping to have the last laugh after a quick witted fan used a mobile phone to capture clear images of the driver.

They show a smirking man at the wheel of a black Mitsubishi L200, without number plates, on the pitch in Mumbles, Swansea, south Wales.

The incident happened in the early afternoon of November 12 while home team Mumbles Rangers played Kingsbridge Colts at Underhill Park.

The senior teams on both sides are made up of players aged from 16 and older.

"I don't know if he was mad or drunk but somebody could have been seriously injured or killed," said Mumbles Rangers chairman Chris Parkin.

"There were 22 players on the pitch and supporters around the edge and no way of knowing that the car would not overturn.

"The players and supporters were astounded. They stopped what they were doing and just looked at what was happening.

"The guy himself driving and his passenger were just laughing.

"He drove the car around the semi-circle several times digging up the ground as it spun round with the tyres."

He said that the car was driven at speeds of up to 30mph and went on to leave the way it had entered.

Groundsmen were later able to repair the pitch enough for the match to recommence.

Police are now appealing to the public for help in hunting down the driver and have issued pictures taken during the incident.

"While the game was on-going a black Mitsubishi L200 displaying no number plates was driven onto the pitch and did three donuts in the centre circle before being driven along the pitch and out of sight," said Sergeant Chris Mackay of Swansea Police.

"The incident took place while the match was in progress which obviously put the players and spectators in danger.

"A spectator took photographs using his mobile phone and we are appealing to anyone who recognises the driver to contact the police."

Call South Wales Police via 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.