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Tuesday, January 8, 2008
Carragher 'abused and spat at' after FA Cup tie

Liverpool have claimed stand-in skipper Jamie Carragher was spat at and had beer thrown over him ahead of a confrontation with Luton Town fans at the weekend.

Carragher has been pictured standing on a barrier and arguing with supporters in an executive box after the Reds' FA Cup third-round draw at Kenilworth Road.

But Liverpool, and it is believed the Football Association, will not be taking any action against the 30-year-old defender.

It is being claimed the incident occurred after the players' warm-down, when they were signing autographs and shirts for young fans.

Liverpool have received several calls from supporters insisting Carragher was not to blame for what transpired.

A club spokesman said: 'At the end of the warm-down, Jamie went back to sign autographs for youngsters in the executive boxes.

'Unfortunately, he was subjected to a tirade of foul-mouthed abuse and also had beer thrown at him.'

A Liverpool club source added: 'He probably would have been wiser not to get involved, but there is only so much that any human being can take.'

Luton-born Simon Lamport, who was with his son in a nearby executive box, said: 'I witnessed what happened and it is nothing like what is being portrayed.

'I was in the executive box with my son a couple down from the one where it all happened.

'All the other fans had gone, but Liverpool players were jogging round the pitch. Afterwards, those players had come across to sign programmes, shirts and so on for the fans, including my son.

'But there was a group of Luton fans who had been dressed up in wigs as Scousers, and they started taunting Jamie Carragher.

'Then what looked like spit, or maybe it was beer, was aimed at Carragher. Yes, he did jump up onto the barrier to talk to them.

'He was not led away by security staff, or anything like that, and then he jumped down again.

'He could easily have gone straight into the executive box, but did not. But the eight or so fans in the box backed away pretty quickly. There were references also to Carragher's family.

'What happened to him was completely out of order. I don't think players should have to put up with that sort of thing, especially when they have come across to kindly sign autographs and talk to the youngsters.

'I'm not a Liverpool fan, I was born and brought up in Luton, but the way this has been portrayed is not right.'

Other supporters described how the defender was subjected to a torrent of vile abuse.

He was believed to have been spat at while he talked to eight-year-old Hamzah Ahmed.

Fans from a nearby executive box were forced to jump across to confront the gang. Sim Hussain, 31, from Luton, was just a few yards away.

He told the Liverpool Echo how his nephew was reduced to tears by the incident.

He said: 'It was awful. He (Carragher) was making the kids' day by coming over and meeting them. He was the perfect gentleman.

'They were swearing at him. The language was terrible and they were even making references to his mother. Even then, Jamie just told them to calm down.

'Then someone spat at him and a drink was thrown at him. We had to jump into the box so it all stopped.

'I'm from Luton and I thought what happened was disgusting. He didn't have to come over. But he did.

'There's banter. But that was something completely different. The lads who did it were aged between 18-22.'

An FA spokesman said: 'We have received no reports and we have had no complaints.'

A Luton spokesman added: 'It is being investigated by our safety officer. We cannot confirm or deny this incident took place at this time.'

A spokeswoman for Bedfordshire Police said: 'We have not had complaints or reports from either party.'




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