Football fan tells of smoke bomb ordeal

News story
News story

A FOOTBALL fan who feared he had been blinded after being hit in the face by a smoke bomb at a Wigan Athletic match has today called for the supporter who threw it to be tracked down and banned.

Blackpool supporter Ash Townsend was struck by the canister after it was launched from further back at the Seasiders’ end following Matt Gilks’ penalty save during the away match at Wigan Athletic’s DW Stadium on Saturday.

The bomb hit the 19-year-old in the corner of his eye, and also burned a hole through his jumper.

He spent 20 minutes of the match underneath the stand receiving treatment from paramedics for his injuries. And he told The Post how he feared the missile, which landed just millimetres from his eye, had caused him permanent damage, describing how he saw “fire” in his vision.

Shocked Ash, from Holts Lane, Poulton, said: “If it had hit me higher I would’ve been blinded. “When it first hit me I couldn’t really take in what was going on, it sort of shocked me.

“I turned around and all these stewards were running towards me.

“The fire came all around my eye. They didn’t know if any of it had got in my eye.”

Ash, who is a season ticket holder in the West Stand at Bloomfield Road and also attends around eight or nine away matches every season, had been at the game with two friends.

He managed to return to his seat in order to witness both of Pool’s vital goals in their 2-0 victory.

However, the incident has left him in shock, and he has now called for the perpetrator who launched the smoke bomb to be banned for their actions. He said: “At away games every now and then there’ll be a smoke bomb set off. They’re banned anyway but they’re really dangerous, they’re hazardous to fans. Whoever did it should be banned.”