Three people who were arrested after a pitch invasion during a pre-season friendly match have been charged by British police.
A 22-year-old man, a 21-year-old and a 17-year-old were detained during ugly scenes as Premier League Newcastle United met Darlington at the Darlington Arena.
Durham Police said the 21-year-old, who is from Newcastle, was charged today with going onto a play area and disorder. The 22-year-old, who is from Gateshead in England, was charged with going onto a play area and a public order offence.
Both men will appear before Darlington Magistrates Court on July 26.
The 17-year-old youth was charged with going onto a play area and will appear at Darlington Youth Court on August 5.
Earlier, Newcastle United condemned the “shameful” behaviour of its supporters who invaded after Sammy Ameobi’s 55th-minute second goal for the visitors.
During the 10 minute delay Newcastle manager Alan Pardew pleaded with fans to leave the pitch and many in the ground thought the match would be abandoned.
Pardew today accused the supporters who invaded the pitch during the team’s pre-season friendly at Darlington yesterday of “truly appalling behaviour”.
He said: “Apart from the frustrating disruption to what was a very good game of football and an important part of our pre-season preparation, the pitch invasion was totally unacceptable and has brought shame on everyone connected with Newcastle United.
“We came to play a football match and to provide entertainment for a family audience – instead we witnessed some truly appalling behaviour which damages the reputation of this great club and the vast majority of our true and law-abiding supporters.”
Newcastle United managing director Derek Llambias issued a statement which read: “On behalf of everyone at Newcastle United FC, we wholly condemn the behaviour of a number of our supporters who invaded the pitch during the second half of the club’s friendly against Darlington this evening.
“The club will be seeking to obtain footage of the disorder from Darlington FC and the police and will be taking the strongest possible action against those individuals responsible for the shameful behaviour.
“This behaviour is not typical of the vast majority of our fans, however this incident gives a poor impression of Newcastle United and its loyal supporters.”
Darlington manager Mark Cooper told the club’s website the trouble was “disappointing” but said he was relieved no players were injured.
Police could not confirm reports of an isolated outbreak of fighting between fans during the match.
A force spokeswoman said: “There has been a crowd of more than 9,700, which is significantly more than expected based on ticket sales.
“Everything was peaceful until Newcastle scored their second goal and a pitch incursion occurred which was high spirited but not violent. A further pitch incursion of around 20 to 30 people.”
The spokeswoman said: “The game ended without incident and crowds have subsequently dispersed.”
The match ended 2-0 to the visitors.