CHILDREN were left screaming and “terrified” as a Derby supporters coach was attacked on its way to Wembley by a group of Aston Villa fans.
Shocking footage sent to Derbyshire Live showed a young child burst into tears when the window beside him was smashed by a thug wearing an Aston Villa shirt.
He had allegedly thrown an object towards the vehicle as it sat in traffic just yards away from the national stadium ahead of the Championship play-off final.
The video shows a number of Villa fans targeting the Ridleys coach with missiles and making obscene gestures towards Derby fans in front of police who were patrolling the area.
Thankfully nobody was hurt – but the Rams fan who filmed the attack said the incident “ruined” her day.
Police have confirmed they are investigating the matter and are looking to take action against those responsible.
The supporter, who wanted to remain anonymous, told Derbyshire Live that her and her mum’s coach journey to the stadium turned into a frightening experience.
She said: “It was terrifying. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.
“It was like they (the Aston Villa fans involved) had no care in the world that people were inside.
‘RUINED OUR DAY’
“There was no goading from any Derby fans to start it. It was mainly elderly people inside. It was scary and very intimidating.
“It ruined our day. The result didn’t help obviously but we could not concentrate on the match because it had shaken us all up and my mum was worried throughout about how we would get back home.
“There was a young lad, who was about seven years old, in front of me who was screaming when the window next to him was smashed.
“I feel so sorry for him as he has probably been put off going to a football match again. I hope Derby County can do something for him.
“I feel our safety was put at risk but to be fair there was nothing the driver could do as he was stuck in traffic.
“I will never be going to Wembley by coach again, that’s for sure.”
A replacement coach was provided after the match to take the supporters back to the East Midlands.
Actions of a few let everyone down. I will be reviewing bodycam footage from officers to identify those responsible #noexcuse.
Aston Villa Police on Twitter
Travel provider firm The Big Green Coach Company said it was deeply saddened by the incident and was in frequent discussion with customers and Wembley to prevent this happening again.
In a statement, a spokesperson said: “On the way to Wembley, only a couple of hundred metres from the Stadium, as the coach approached the car park on Wembley Hill Road, one of the vehicles was attacked by Aston Villa fans with bottles and cans thrown at the coach, causing not only damage to the vehicle but understandable fear amongst those on board, including families.
“We are currently investigating the incident, speaking to Ridleys (the operator) and the driver and all customers have been contacted today to collect more information.
“The route taken was one we’ve used for Wembley games we have operated at in previous years, many times, and the quickest route to the Official Coach park from the motorway the coach came off.
“Whilst we are in talks with Wembley, this road was open to vehicles approaching, and it could not be foreseen that a group of people would behave in this manner and we were saddened this morning to hear of the news.
“We will keep customers updated on any information from Wembley Stadium regarding how to get vehicles into Yellow Car Park in future or measures being taken to ensure this doesn’t happen in the future.
“A new vehicle was sourced for the journey home as we would never allow customers to travel on a damaged vehicle. We have collected video footage from both on board the vehicle and from the crowds of people outside the coach and are responding to any customers that contact our customer services and social media.”
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West Midlands Police’s dedicated Aston Villa Twitter account said the actions by supporters responsible had let the club down.
It said: “Disappointed to report again coaches damaged as a result of persons on the green throwing bottles at a coach containing children.
“Actions of a few let everyone down. I will be reviewing bodycam footage from officers to identify those responsible #noexcuse.”