Schoolboy football fan 'kicked' by Doncaster Rovers steward left "bruised and annoyed" after pitch invasion clash

A teenage boy with a serious knee condition who was apparently kicked by a Doncaster Rovers steward as he celebrated his team's promotion has spoken of his shock after being left bruised by the incident.

Monday, 9th May 2016, 4:45 pm
Updated Monday, 9th May 2016, 4:51 pm
Burton fan Will Bower.
Burton fan Will Bower.

16-year-old Burton Albion fan Will Bower was brought crashing down onto Rovers' Keepmoat Stadium pitch, apparently by a club steward, who was seen on television footage lashing out as hundreds of overjoyed visiting supporters stormed onto the pitch to celebrate their team's promotion to the Championship yesterday.

The teen has admitted the incident, which came at the end of the 0-0 draw which confirmed Rovers' relegation to League Two, soured his day and left him "bruised" and "annoyed."

Burton fan Will Bower is sent sprawling onto the Keepmoat pitch.

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And Will, who suffers from a painful knee condition known as Osgood-Schlatter disease, said that if the blow had caught him on his knee, he "would have been in trouble."

He said: "The full time whistle blew and we all started running onto the pitch.

"This one steward tried tripping another lad up and next thing I know, I saw a boot swipe my legs from underneath me.

"Luckily, I didn't experience any injuries apart from a bruised shin. I wouldn't let something like this ruin my day as the celebrations carried on, but I am just annoyed how it was just me he went for and I've never seen any steward act like that during a pitch invasion."

Burton fan Will Bower is sent sprawling onto the Keepmoat pitch.

Will, who has supported the Brewers since the age of eight, said: "I have had problems with my knees in the past. It is a recurring injury and left me with Osgood-Schlatter disease in my knees.

"If he had caught my knee I would have been in trouble."

Osgood-Schlatter disease is an inflammation of the knee, characterised by a painful lump just below the knee and is most often seen in young adolescents.

Added Will, who follows the club home and away: "I was enjoying the game and buzzing that we got promoted.

"Everyone went to the front to run on the pitch to congratulate the players, not to look for any trouble - just to make the day more enjoyable.

"I was thanking the stewards before we went on saying how good and friendly they where with us. I am just a 16 year old lad who enjoys going to every game."

The scene was captured by cameras from Sky Sports who were screening the clash live.

Footage shows bare-chested Will being sent sprawling onto the pitch after a man in a high-visibility jacket can be seen swinging a foot at him.

Will manages to scramble to his feet again after the incident as hundreds of other fans celebrate Burton's promotion.

Other Burton fans were also angered by the scenes which came at the end of a tense encounter which saw the club promoted to the second flight of English football for the first time in their history.

Lisa Martin said: "Not sporting, I'd report him" while Lee Milligan wrote: "Both stewards kicked out when you watch it closely. Report it to Burton police and the club as you have evidence."

Emma Kate added: "Report it or else they will do it to others. They shouldnt be allowed to get away with it."

A club spokesman said: "Doncaster Rovers take crowd safety very seriously and are committed to ensuring all supporters have a safe and enjoyable experience when visiting the Keepmoat Stadium.

"The Club can confirm we have received a formal complaint relating to proceedings following yesterday’s game and will be reviewing the footage provided along with our own CCTV footage as part of a full and detailed investigation.”