FANS on both sides have condemned the actions of those who waved vile flags mocking two dead Chester FC supporters during the derby with Wrexham FC.
Tensions boiled over when two banners – understood to refer to a 21-year-old, who died in 2012 and a 23-year-old who died in 2002 – were unfurled in the home stand.
That sparked violent scenes with a smoke bomb being thrown from the visitors end and some fans ripping and hurling seats toward those holding the flags.
Stewards attempted to remove the banners but were attacked and police officers were also assaulted after entering the stands to rescue the stewards.
North Wales Police have vowed to make arrests following the trouble that marred the match and are now reviewing photographs and video footage from the game.
Peter Jones, football liaison officer for North Wales Police, posted on fans forum Red Passion: “As soon as the flag was displayed, SIA stewards went into the crowd to remove it. They were then attacked and assaulted.
“Officers then went in to rescue stewards and they too were assaulted. A couple were arrested from the stand. The flags were passed around and concealed, making it very difficult for authorities to remove it.
“We have hours of video footage and still images to go through. There will be further arrests over the coming weeks.
“Both the club and ourselves will be seeking criminal convictions and bans from supporters of either club who were involved in offences within the stadium.”
There was a huge police presence around the Racecourse Ground on Saturday for the first cross-border derby since 2008.
So-called ‘bubble match’ restrictions were imposed, meaning all Chester fans had to travel to the game on official coaches from the Deva Stadium with Wrexham supporters having to comply with the same restrictions for the return fixture later in the season.
Police escorted 18 coaches along the A494, A55 and A483 with officers from North Wales Police, Cheshire Police and Merseyside Police taking part in the operation.
In the lead up to the game, the letters ‘CFC’ were daubed on the Racecourse Ground and Chester FC chairman Tony Durkin and Wrexham FC chief executive Don Bircham appealed for fans to behave themselves.
North Wales Police said the policing operation had been successful with two Wrexham fans arrested for being drunk and disorderly, a third for assault and one Chester fan arrested for assault.
Chief inspector Dave Owens said: “The operation at Wrexham went as planned.
“I’d like to thank both clubs for their support, particularly in relation to the transport arrangements that undoubtedly helped to ensure that this was a safe and successful event.”
Both Chester and Wrexham supporters have slammed the minority involved in waving the banners and those who threw seats and other missiles.
Wrexham fan Bagger Vance posted on Red Passion: “Whoever brought that flag to the game should be banned for life. They should never be allowed to blacken the name of this great club ever again. Absolutely appalled.”
Draig Wrecsam posted: “Feel absolutely sickened to find out what was on those flags.”
Chester fan Blue Thunder posted on Devachat: “I think we all accept that banter is a part of football and even enjoy it to an extent. But when it gets aimed at people that have passed away and have lost their lives in tragic circumstances, that is just sick and has no place at any club.
“I’m pleased to see both sets of fans unite and condemn this behaviour and hope the people responsible are found and dealt with appropriately.”