A father and son have been banned from attending football matches after ‘mayhem’ broke out during the Manchester derby.
Mark Chambers, 45, and Luke Chambers, 19, were hauled before the courts after trouble flared at the Etihad Stadium during Manchester United’s 2-1 win over their bitter rivals in December 2019.
Punches were thrown after it was mistakenly believed a United fan was in the City section of the ground, a court heard.
No-one was hurt during the fracas, but the pair, from Warrington, were told the incident ‘could have got really nasty’.
There were families and children sat near to the trouble, which escalated close to the dividing line between City and United fans, Manchester magistrates court was told.
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The pair, both City fans, were both handed three year football banning orders, and also ordered to undertake unpaid work after admitting affray.
Chairman of the bench, Rod Peters, said: “This was mayhem, looking at the video.
“There were children around, it could have ended up really serious.
“It is a highly volatile match anyway, a local derby.
“It could have got really serious, and it could have got really nasty.
“We believe it is necessary to put this order in place to prevent further violence and disorder at football matches.”
Three other men are due to be sentenced next month for their role in the same incident.
Earlier this month, 42-year-old Anthony Burke was convicted of making a racist monkey gesture towards Manchester United players during the same game.
He was fined £500 and also received a three year banning order.
The court heard that another man, who is due to be sentenced next month after also admitting affray, ‘got in the face’ of another supporter and walked away up the stairs.
There had been a ‘heated’ argument and it was mistakenly believed a United fan was in the City end, the court was told.
Luke Chambers pushed the man as he went past, causing him to stumble into other supporters.
“That is when the mayhem begins,” prosecutor Robin Lynch said.
Punches were thrown towards Luke Chambers, and Mark Chambers then ‘threw a number of punches’ towards the man.
Other supporters joined in and more punches were thrown.
Mr Lynch said the incident had ‘nothing to do’ with Luke Chambers.
Five men including Luke and Mark Chambers were identified from footage and brought before the courts.
Defending, their lawyer Ian Cochrane said the pair had no previous convictions and had admitted the offence.
He said there was some ‘disorder’ before Luke Chambers, who was 17 at the time, got involved.
He said Luke Chambers felt the other man was acting ‘aggressively’, and said Mark Chambers, a lift engineer, admitted punching out on at least two occasions to protect his son.
Speaking of Mark Chambers, Mr Cochrane said: “He is totally ashamed to find himself before the courts.”
He said being prosecuted has had a ‘dramatic’ effect on both men.
Magistrates sentenced the pair, both of Columbus Place, Great Sankey, Warrington, to a 12 month community order.
Luke Chambers was ordered to complete 100 hours of unpaid work, while Mark Chambers must undertake 120 hours.