Aldershot Town FC directors have issued a warning to fans about the use of flares and smoke bombs after a 16-year-old boy was arrested during the Shots clash with table topping Luton Town last Saturday.
Bedfordshire Police said the Aldershot teenager was charged with possession of a firework/flare at a sporting event and will appear at Luton youth court on April 22. He was granted bail on condition he does not go to any designated football match in England or Wales.
Other fans found with these items face being banned.
Aldershot Town FC’s board of directors issued a statement on Monday saying it would not tolerate any use of flares and smoke bombs following several incidents at matches involving the club this season.
“Such behaviour has no place at our club or any other club and we will do everything within our power to work with the police to secure a prosecution should any further incidents occur,” the board warned.
“Both smoke bombs and flares are designed to be used in open spaces, as they burn at very high temperatures and produce chemicals which are potentially hazardous to those who suffer with asthma or breathing difficulties.
“We enjoy and appreciate your support of the club, and value greatly the image of Aldershot Town as a welcoming and friendly club, supported by passionate fans who rightly feel a great affinity with the club and each other.
“We cannot allow individuals to put this at risk, or to ruin the enjoyment of other fans who have made great efforts to support the club home and away.”
Aldershot Town Supporters Trust board of directors have also criticised the recent smoke bomb and flare incidents. A statement released by the club on Sunday said: “Yesterday’s use of flares and smoke bombs did indeed wreck many supporters’ day.
“It is a shame that a credible performance by the Shots should be overshadowed by this incident.”
The board said this was the second time recently such objects have been used by Shots supporters.
During the match against Braintree last month, a flare was thrown hitting supporters’ trust photographer Ian Morsman.
It added: “Yesterday was another mindlessly stupid act by a ‘Shots fan’. Given the number of our fans at Luton, particularly seniors, who were seated in the immediate vicinity, it was an accident waiting to happen.
“We have seen more than enough past football stadium tragedies not to witness another one.
“Let us Shots fans be known for what we do fabulously well – getting behind our team and singing our hearts out – and not mindless stupidity.”
The incident comes after Luke Stock from Worcester was banned from every league ground in England and Wales for three years after he lit a flare in Aldershot Town’s ESS Stadium and then assaulted two stewards who tried to eject him on December 14 last year.
The 20-year-old admitted possessing a flare at a sporting event and two charges of assault by beating at Aldershot Magistrates' Court on January 2.