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FA investigate trouble at Ipswich v Colchester; children hurt and seats ripped out

The FA are to investigate trouble at that was seen at Ipswich v Colchester with children hurt and seats ripped out on Tuesday.

U’s owner and chairman Robbie Cowling has hit out at the “mindless thugs” who “sunk to a new low” during the Carabao Cup clash against the Tractorboys.

During the the fixture at Portman Road, families were reportedly hit by chairs during mindless acts of hooliganism while flares were also thrown onto the pitch causing the game to halt, before Colchester went on to win 1-0.

Mr Cowling, who was left appalled by the behaviour of a minority of the team’s fans, has now issued a statement condemning their actions.

He said: “Last night was the first time that Colchester United have beaten Ipswich Town in a competitive game at Portman Road since we won there in 1951. That’s before even I was born and I’m ancient, so there won’t be many fans that witnessed both victories.

“The management of the team included club legends Wayne Brown and Joe Dunne, and four players that have come through the ranks of our youth academy started the game, with a further two coming on as subs to help us see out the win.

“Today should be a day when all Colchester United fans feel nothing but pride in their club.

“Sadly, we are having to hang our head in shame today thanks to a group of fans in the Colchester United end that have embarrassed our club with their mindless violent behaviour.

“It wasn’t enough for them to spoil the occasion for everyone else by being ultra-abusive.

“They also sunk to a new low that I have not witnessed in my time at the club, whereby they destroyed some of the seating in the area Ipswich had allocated to our fans and threw the broken parts into the rows below them that were occupied by other Colchester United fans.

“These areas included families with very young children but that was of no concern for the mindless thugs that have shamed the club they claim to support.

“A number of Colchester United fans had to receive treatment for the injuries they sustained from the broken chairs that rained down on them. Some whilst they cowered to protect their young children.

“Although we were competing against Ipswich Town last night, I can assure everyone that the two clubs will be working closely together to identify those responsible to the police and to assist in any way we can to ensure they are punished in full for their unacceptable behaviour.

“I wish to apologise to everyone that was subjected to this appalling behaviour, and also to our hosts Ipswich Town who were gracious in defeat but rightfully upset with the behaviour of fans in our allocated area.

“We all hope that victories like last night’s historic win at Portman Road happen much more frequently than every seventy-one years, but I’m sure most Colchester United fans will never again want to be associated with last night’s appalling thugs.

“Therefore, if you can do anything to help us identify those involved so that we can distance them from our club, please do so.”

Meanwhile, a spokesman for the Football Association has told the Gazette an investigation into crowd-related issues has been launched.

Niki Howard, the football club’s dedicated police officer, said she hopes those involved in the “idiotic behaviour” didn’t ruin it for others.

“[I’m] aware of some issues within the ground tonight,” she wrote. “It is extremely disappointing behaviour to hear of.”

Colchester supporter Tracey Welsh, who was at the game, said to the Gazette “a wonderful result was completely ruined by idiots” as the shocking behaviour started midway through the first half.

“There were children crying and families leaving to escape. Ipswich children were crying too. People were bleeding from flying seats.

“It’s our first win at Portman Road since 1951 but it’s so sad the real fans could not enjoy it and were scared.”

Meanwhile, fan David Clayton called for a zero tolerance approach on those responsible, adding it was “sad to see frightened kids having to move”.

“Unfortunately some idiots took it upon themselves to shame the club and throw seats,” he said.

Another added: “The majority of fans were amazing as always but dozens were breaking and chucking solid plastic seats down towards the pitch, hitting their own fans.”


Kieran McKenna said his Ipswich side put in a ‘mixed performance’ in the 1-0 defeat to Colchester United.

“It’s a disappointing night and result,” Kieran told iFollow Ipswich.

“That’s for us and the fans because we wanted to go through in the competition.

“The performance was mixed. The first 30 minutes were very good as we created a lot of chances and we had a good flow to the game. We had complete control of the game but didn’t take the chances.

“They defended their box and did it very well.

“We have to move on and do it quickly. We have other priorities this season and big games coming up. Everyone must swallow the disappointment quickly.”

Twitter users wrote as the FA get set to investigate trouble at Ipswich v Colchester with children hurt and seats ripped out…

@Colutdmark: Christ I never thought I would agree with Robbie cowling

@stmlowe: Well said Robbie get those involved banned totally pathetic behaviour heaven knows what has happened if we had lost.

@gina1966: Totally agree

@george18t: Half of s1 boutta get a lifetime ban

@George_Bowling1: Well said 👏 lifetime bans for all involved. Tainted one of the great wins in my lifetime (first game 6:2 win against Hartlepool 1976).

@Jamie_Hudson_: Agreed, we all expected it to be heated but some of the actions from a select few I just can’t understand. Saw a number of fans get hit with flying pieces of chairs, completely unacceptable

@SouthStander91: If I wanted away days like that, I’d support Millwall. Last night was not good.

@TheLatestColU: Well done Robbie, completely agree. Such a shame a historic night was overshadowed by a minority. They are not welcome at ColU games

@CUSAsupporters: Identify them, find them, name them, shame them and sever any ties they may have with the U’s (which includes CUSA) for life

@Clachan1GK: Well said there’s absolutely no need for it so why are our fans throwing them in the first place ffs?

@colufangeorge: Majority of U’s supporters are with you on this Robbie. This awful behaviour does not represent who we are #colu #itfc

@_NASH93: Colchester won’t have many fans left then

@essex_suffolk; Best punishment for them, is to make them watch Wivenhoe Town FC!

@dale_63: I am a town fan for many years but also have a lot of CU fans as friends speaking them today they were absolutely outraged and disgusted with the behaviour never seen it in their lives they said don’t know why it happened I think they still in shock.

@chris_ellis94: 100% agree with this statement, the chair throwing was awful, but to have the police outside and not be allowed to enter the ground because ipswich dont want to pay them is also something that needs to be addressed

@scubear: (Town fan) Respect the different point of view. Grew up in Capel St Mary and Ipswich was my local team, but I’d also go with a friend to Layer Road. I respect both teams and encourage supporting the local team. I abhor aggression like this, keep it to pantomime banter and respect

@webbinuk: A well written statement. Enjoyed the victory, but a night ruined by thugs. Witnessing children scared and being escorted away to safer spaces is not what we ever want to see. They are not Col U and need to be found and brought to justice!! #ColU

@TylerKint1: Well said, Robbie. Let’s hope they can all be identified and receive lifetime bans.

@JodyRic14958478: Well said ! Although I also agree that there should be a personal apology to the bar staff and stewards that had to endure that behaviour by those ‘supporters’ be interested to see what the @EFL do about it 🤔 #itfc @IpswichTown

@UrsoPardo37: Well said Robbie. Hope you find the muppets responsible

@nickandrews11: Witnessed similar behaviour at Palace two years ago – regrettably there’s an element of Us support which doesn’t turn up for the football but purely to create trouble. A sad bunch of halfwits who ruin these big occasions for real football families.

@webbinuk: Help identify the thugs so they can be brought to justice and distanced from the club. Shame on them!!! They are not Col U!!! #ColU

@HG548_0: Col U throwing chairs at their own fans in their cup final. Proper bizarre club uno. On a night where most town fans didn’t even go the game and all 🤣

@lawseyitfc: Imagine getting a ban because you ripped up seats and chucked them at your own fans, all this at a ground where the hosts don’t even care about your club 😂

@Jamie_Hudson_: For once I agree with Robbie, everyone expected it to be heated but some of the actions I just don’t understand. To rip up seats and throw them, most of which landed on another #ColU supporter, why ffs

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