A GLITTERING ceremony to reward Wigan pubs and clubs for preventing night scene violence ended in a fight.
There were calls today for certain winners at the Best Bar None awards to be stripped of their newly-earned accolades if their staff are shown to have been involved in what was a deeply embarrassing brawl.
Police and an ambulance had to be called to the DW Stadium when violence erupted in its precincts after the end of the night.
Witnesses say that punches were mainly thrown by staff from two licensed premises who had been sitting on separate tables during the evening.
No one needed hospital treatment and there were no arrests but it is alleged that trouble then flared up again between the rivals in Wallgate.
With the presentations over, many of the guests had gone home when the bust-up began after 1am.
One witness, who does not wish to be identified, said: “It would be funny if it wasn’t so excruciatingly embarrassing.
“Of all the occasions for a fight to break-out, you couldn’t pick something worse than an evening when pubs, bars and clubs are winning awards for keeping the peace.
“The thing is that the vast majority of people are doing a great job in Wigan town centre and also behaved themselves impeccably at the ceremony.
“But then a handful of mindless morons come along and undermine the whole thing in the most cringeworthy way possible. It’s shameful.
“If they can get to the bottom of who was involved then the clubs, pubs or bars that they represent should be stripped of their awards or accreditation.”
A GMP spokesman said: “We were called to the DW Stadium at 1.25am following a report of fighting.
“An ambulance was required at the scene to treat someone with minor injuries. Nobody made any complaints and as a result, police made no arrests.”
Organisers refused to let the sour incident ruin what was a successful evening though.
Joe Curran, Best Bar None Ambassador, said: “The event was a great success, with over 100 bar, pub and club representatives turning up to celebrate the awards.
“The event finished before the alleged incident took place, therefore I can’t comment on what happened afterwards.”