Derry City vs Shamrock Rovers match halted after child picks up flare thrown onto pitch

Photo showing A flare landing on the edge of the pitch during Friday night's game
A flare lands on the edge of the pitch during Friday night's game -Credit:INPHO/Lorcan Doherty

Friday night's League of Ireland clash between Derry City and Shamrock Rovers had to be temporarily halted after a child picked up a flare that had been thrown onto the pitch.

The incident happened in injury time, with Rovers leading 3-1 at the Brandywell courtesy of goals from Aaron Greene (2) and Richie Towell.

The game was paused in added time after a flare was reportedly thrown from outside the stadium which ended up on the pitch, and appeared to cause some damage to the astroturf surface.

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A young fan then ran onto the pitch before picking up the still-burning flare and proceeded to sprint along the touchline.

One person shared footage of the incident on social media writing: "Flare thrown onto side of pitch at Brandywell, probably burning a chunk of the astro, then a child runs onto pitch, picks up flare and runs off with it."

Another fan added: "This is not a joke serious harm could have happened to that child."

Away fans also reportedly came under attack from missiles thrown from outside the ground, forcing them to gather in the centre circle after the final whistle.

At no stage did the incidents outside the ground lead to trouble inside the Brandywell stadium. Derry’s stewards rushed outside to control the situation. A police car arrived soon afterwards onto the Lone Moor Road, which is just outside the ground.

PSNI Chief Inspector Moyne said: “Officers intervened following public disorder after a football match in the area.

“When responding to the incident, masonry was thrown at police. There have been no reports of injury at this time, however it was reported that a large group of young people were involved in the damage of a number of police vehicles.

"The group dispersed and a policing presence will remain in the area.

“Footage obtained by our evidence gathering team will form part of the investigation.”

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