Football ‘hooligans’ terrify Clitheroe pub staff

The proprietors of a Ribble Valley country pub have been left “terrified and intimidated” after balaclava-clad Blackpool fans protested outside their establishment yesterday (Sunday).
Blackpool fans protesting outside the Parkers Arms pubBlackpool fans protesting outside the Parkers Arms pub
Blackpool fans protesting outside the Parkers Arms pub

Dozens of disgruntled Blackpool supporters stepped up their campaign against chairman Karl Oyston by gathering outside The Parkers Arms – two miles away from Karl’s house.

Landlady Kathy Smith and chef Stosie Madi were forced to close the pub for 45 minutes to protect staff and customers from the hooligans.

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They now fear the mobs will return. Kathy said: “The fans seem to think me and Karl are friends when I only know of him by sight. Since 2007, I don’t think I have served him more than 10 times, the fans for some reason think he has me in his back pocket.”

The landlady also said an orange smoke bomb was let off outside the pub once they were told to leave.

She added: “They were threatening us and calling us all sorts. We are a country pub and Sunday is our busiest day of trade. We serve lunch and cannot cater for large crowds gathering for drinks. I allowed the supporters to use our toilet facilities, but once they left the pub, some of them started shouting abuse and jumping up and down on our outdoor furniture. Some of them even tried to get back inside from the rear door after we had closed the main door. Not all the fans were a problem and I understand they might have an issue with Karl but we are a small rural pub that relies on selling food and we were unable to do that for some time on our busiest day.”

Insp. Ian Cooper, of Clitheroe Police, confirmed a “peaceful protest” had occurred, but admitted there was every chance the supporters would return.

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Speaking to the Clitheroe Advertiser, he said: “The protest didn’t last very long and we had five officers at the scene, including a police sergeant. From what we understand it was peaceful protest and we cannot stop people from protesting. “However, we think they might come back.”

See this week’s Clitheroe Advertiser for full story and pictures