Pubs lose out as World Cup violence erupts on streets

By James Wilmore

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Greater manchester

Pubs in the North West were hit by a three-hour blanket shutdown after serious violence erupted following England's defeat in the World Cup. While...

Pubs in the North West were hit by a three-hour blanket shutdown after serious violence erupted following England's defeat in the World Cup.

While pubs across the country were doing brisk business, police asked all of Bolton town centre's pubs and bars to close as 300 to 500 football fans fought in the streets.

Police sealed off roads around the city in a bid to quell the violence and eventually called in the riot squad to bring the hooligans under control after England went out on penalties to Portugal at 6.30pm.

Licensees re-opened their doors to customers at around 9.30pm, once the disturbances had died down.

Nick Hogan, licensee of the Swan, in Bolton town centre, described the scene as "frightening". "It seemed to be a running battle between the police and those causing the trouble," he said. "It's a shame that the minority spoilt it for the majority."

Mr Hogan claimed he had lost around £12,000 in takings because of the trouble. "We were expecting to take around £15,000 on Saturday, but only took about £3,000," he said.

He also criticised one local supermarket for selling lager at "irresponsibly" low prices.

During the disturbances 13 arrests were made. Three people were charged with assault and 10 people were given fixed-penalty fines of £80.

At the Number 15 bar, licensee John Crilly said he lost out on a lot of trade and was forced to cancel his DJ for the evening. "Usually we would have been really busy on a Saturday, but there was a lot less people around," he said.

Mark Gibirdi, licensee at the Last Orders Inn, said the first he heard about the violence was when he was asked to close by the police, but had lost out from being shut.

A spokesman from Greater Manchester Police said: "We were delighted with the co-operation of licensees in voluntarily closing their premises and it shows the close partnership that we enjoy with pubs and bars in Bolton."

A similar situation occurred in Boston, Lincolnshire, where pubs and bars in the town centre were closed after the game. And in Brighton two pubs closed voluntarily due to alcohol-related incidents.

Related topics: Sport

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