Rival football fans have clashed with each other, hours before this evening’s derby between Chester FC and Wrexham.
Shortly after 3.30pm, Cheshire Police say a “disturbance” broke out involving two groups of supporters near to The Cross in Chester city centre.
Officers immediately intervened and the group have since been dispersed. The nearby Dublin Packet pub was closed following the incident.
As a result of the clash, six dispersal notices were issued. The notices mean that the recipients must leave the city centre immediately and are not allowed to return for 48 hours.
They are also prohibited from attending this evening’s National League derby at the Swansway Chester Stadium.
Superintendent Richard Rees of Cheshire Police said: “I would like to reassure that public that we currently have a number of extra officers on patrol in the city centre ahead of the match tonight.
“In this case, officers were in the area at the time and the situation was quickly brought under control. There were no reports of any injuries.
“I’d like to remind all supporters travelling to the game tonight that this is a great family event and we want to ensure that everyone has a safe and enjoyable time. However we will not tolerate unacceptable behaviour and robust action will be taken against anyone who breaks the law.”
This evening’s fixture is significant as it will be the first time the teams have played each other since the decision to scrap the controversial 'bubble’ restrictions for away supporters, which were introduced in 2013. Fans have been asked to behave this evening, so there will be no need to re-introduce the restrictions for future derby games.
Pictures by Simon Warburton & Rick Matthews