Nine charged over derby trouble

Wimbledon Guardian: Manchester United's Rio Ferdinand holds his head after being hit by a coin at the Etihad Stadium Manchester United's Rio Ferdinand holds his head after being hit by a coin at the Etihad Stadium

Nine people have been charged in connection with trouble at the Manchester derby, Greater Manchester Police said.

Trouble flared after Manchester United's last-gasp winner in their 3-2 Premier League away victory when Rio Ferdinand was hit above the left eye by a two-pence coin thrown from the crowd as the team celebrated.

With blood pouring down his face there was more controversy when a Manchester City supporter ran on to the pitch to confront Ferdinand.

Among the charges faced by the nine people are racially aggravated public order and pitch encroachment.

Peter Harrison, 30, of Springfield Road, Kearsley, Bolton, was charged with a racially aggravated public order offence. Matthew Stott, 21, of Southfields, Knutsford, and Christopher Johnson, 52, of Ancoats Lane, Alderley Edge, were charged with pitch encroachment.

Warren Singh, 19, of Oakdale Drive, Heald Green, Stockport, was charged with a public order offence. Sam Weatherby, 21, of Grant Street, Farnworth, Bolton, and Philip O'Leary, 24, of Heysbank Road, Disley, Stockport, were each charged with breaching football banning orders.

Christopher O'Neil, 21, of Swainsthorpe Drive, Manchester, Andrew Martin, 20, of Northdale Drive, and Nicholas Morley, 21, of Chapel Lane, both Blackley, were all charged with being drunk and disorderly. All are due before Manchester City Magistrates' Court on January 4.

Police are continuing to work with City to identify the offender who threw the coin at Ferdinand, a police spokesman said.

Manchester City apologised to Ferdinand after the incident. The club said it "unreservedly condemns" the incident. The club said its security officials would co-operate fully with Greater Manchester Police (GMP) over incidents of missiles being thrown on to the field of play and, it said, between the rival sets of supporters.

Ferdinand, 34, later posted on his Twitter account: "what a result, 3points! Sweet! Whoever threw that coin, what a shot! Can't believe it was a copper 2p... could have at least been a #1 coin!"

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