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Supporters' Pitch Invasion and Violence Exeter v Torquay

Supporters' Pitch Invasion and Violence Exeter v Torquay

Sport 1977 2 mins Silent

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Logo for South West Film and Television Archive


Violence has broken out between the fans of football club rivals Exeter City and Torquay United. The fans were drinking at 'the Near Post' bar in the social club housed within the grounds of St. James’ Park. The match is stopped because of a fan on the pitch who is eventually led away by police. Post-match violence erupts causing the police to intervene when fans are injured.

Hooliganism has been associated with sport since the gladiatorial events in ancient Rome killed thousands, the modern day equivalent is no less barbaric. Rioting, bullying, racial hatred and vandalism are the main sources of football hooliganism. Sport fan aggression is seen as mob-like or group identification behaviour, the very nature of mass individuals gathered together to support a single outcome can create strong bonds between the individuals which in turn creates intense feelings of antagonism towards outsiders. The UK has been at the forefront of measures to manage football crowds and is often consulted on policing and managing high crowd events.