Police all set for cup clash
The police officer in charge of safety for Luton’s FA Cup tie against Millwall says the events of 1985 “belong to a different era”, and should not overshadow tomorrow’s game.
Officers from British Transport Police and Hertfordshire Constabulary are being drafted in to help police the event, although the force would not elaborate on officer numbers.
Chief Supt Mike Colbourne of Bedfordshire Police, gold commander for the fifth round match, said there would be a “very visible” police presence both inside and outside the ground.
He said: “Of course the events of 1985 have been much talked about in the national press but those events belong to a different era.
“The two clubs have played each other since that game, most recently in 2008, with no major issues. We expect fans to behave sensibly, respecting the law and the local residents.”
But part of the policing plan – accommodating Millwall supporters at two High Town nightclubs from 10am – has upset one long-serving Luton landlady.
Lions fans will be able to drink at Deja Vu and Charlie Brown’s, while all other pubs will only serve home fans.
Alison Taylor, of the Bricklayers Arms, said: “Deja Vu is right opposite us and we’re a real Luton Town fans’ pub. I just couldn’t believe it.
“I spoke to the police this morning and they reassured me but it’s going to be a very strange atmosphere for my customers.”
The riot at the clubs’ 1985 sixth round cup tie was one of the worst incidents of football hooliganism of the 1980s, and led to a ban on away fans at Kenilworth Road for four seasons. Police have reiterated people should not travel to Luton on Saturday unless they have a ticket for the game.
Mr Colbourne added: “You will be unable to get into the ground, and unless you are a home fan you won’t be able to watch it on a screen in a Luton pub either.”
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Weather for Luton
Saturday 18 May 2013
Temperature: 6 C to 14 C
Wind Speed: 17 mph
Wind direction: West
Temperature: 9 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 15 mph
Wind direction: North east