Pitch invasion fan charged

A fan who was shoved in the face by Manchester City footballer Craig Bellamy was tonight charged with unlawfully running onto the pitch.

Bellamy confronted the man, who staged a solo pitch invasion, before the supporter was led away by match stewards at yesterday’s highly charged Manchester derby.

Neither the fan nor the Wales international forward have made a complaint to police about the clash but the supporter will appear in court later this month over the pitch encroachment.

A Greater Manchester Police spokeswoman said: “A man has been charged following an incident at the end of the match between Manchester United and Manchester City at Old Trafford.

“Jake Joseph Clarke, 21, is charged with going onto a playing area without lawful authority or excuse and will appear before Trafford Magistrates’ Court on September 30.”

The supporter ran from the Manchester United section as Manchester City took the kick-off following Michael Owen’s dramatic late winner in United’s exhilarating 4-3 victory.

Greater Manchester Police were also investigating a coin-throwing attack on City substitute Javier Garrido, who was struck as he headed down the tunnel at half-time.

The missile was launched from the home section of the crowd as Garrido walked alongside the probable intended target, Carlos Tevez, who was jeered throughout by United fans following his transfer from the home team in the summer.

Police said there were no reports of any widespread disorder between fans either at the ground or in the city centre.

Twelve people were arrested at the ground for a variety of public order offences and a further 10 were arrested in the city. A total of 51 supporters were ejected from Old Trafford during the match.

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