Date:Sunday May 3 2009
Wolverhampton Wanderers may have clinched promotion last Saturday with the 1-1 draw at Oakwell, courtesy of a late equaliser from former Barnsley loanee Kyel Reid, but that's no excuse to converge on to a pitch that is not your own.
Granted, it was the last home game at Oakwell and the turf was lifted a few hours after the final whistle, but it was not only presumptuous of the Wolves fans to invade the Oakwell pitch on 85 minutes, but also downright rude.
Not only did it mean that Wolves could not celebrate with their fans, but Barnsley fans could not applaud their own players for their efforts this season. Barnsley fans however cannot be completely absolved because there was, as there usually is, a mindless minority of mostly youngsters, who invaded the pitch from the Barnsley stands. I even saw a man on crutches on the pitch, begging the question 'how good a job are the stewards doing?'
However, whilst Barnsley were still fighting for their Championship lives, Wolves were already in party mood after the leveller on 84 minutes. Fans invaded the pitch both after the goal and at the final whistle.
One fan made straight for Barnsley-born Wolves manager Mick McCarthy, who was savouring the moment on the touchline with his staff, and jumped on his back. McCarthy immediately threw him off and squared up to the wrongdoer.
McCarthy, speaking after the game to Wolves' official website, had this to say:
'I wasn't very happy with the pitch invasion...it's only taken a slight gloss off it because we've still won the Championship but it would have been nice to celebrate without being mobbed.'
Bobby Hassell also told Barnsley's official website that he was slapped in the face by a fan at the end of the match.
It is, unfortunately, the same old story every season. On the final day there's a pitch invasion, regardless of the result or whether or not we have been relegated, promoted or finished in the play-offs and it's disappointing. Surely much more satisfaction can be gained from applauding your heroes from the stands as they make their way round the pitch on a lap of honour?
It's about time extra security was put in place to prevent such events from occuring, instead of the feeble pleas from the club's P.A. system for the supporters to keep off the pitch.
Date:Sunday May 3 2009
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