John Giles recalls how a referee had to take teams off the pitch at Everton for fears of escalating crowd trouble

He was speaking to Off The Ball this evening

John Giles

Image: Peter Robinson EMPICS Sport

Crowd trouble at last night's EFL Cup games marred scenes at the Olympic Stadium as supporters from West Ham and Chelsea clashed.

There was also reports that Manchester City fans had vandalised toilets in the away end at Old Trafford during last night's derby.

On tonight's Off The Ball, former Leeds United midfielder John Giles spoke about crowd trouble at games in its infancy and its escalation in the 1960s and 70s.

"When I started in the 50s, I went to Manchester United when I was 15 and I used to go to the matches there was no trouble," he said. "I remember going to Spurs versus Manchester United and there would be supporters walking down together. 

"It was a different time, a more innocent time."

He then explained what it was like in the 1960s when football hooligans were more and more prevalent in the English game. 

"I then was playing in the 1960s when it started, really bad stuff. They segregated the supporters and they had to stay behind the big police presence. 

"If the police presence had not of been there, there would have been murders going on.

"My first year in the First Division when we got promoted with Leeds, we played at Everton. And we didn't have a good reputation even in those days. 

"We played there and Everton are some hard nuts. One of them was Sandy Brown, the Scottish lad. He was a bit of a nut case. I was [playing] outside right and we both fell on the ground and Sandy punched me. Referee was two yards away and sent him off. 

"Of course the Everton crowd blamed me. So I'm playing on the right and I was getting terrible stick. 'You little Irish so and so' they were saying. 

"The sending off got the crowd really going. Almost straight after it, there was a long ball across the field. Two players jumped for it and collided and the crowd went really mad. 

"Now there was no barriers in those days and we were very near the crowd. So what the referee had to do was take the teams off. First time it ever happened and maybe the last time it ever happened, just to let the crowd cool down. 

"They didn't get on the pitch, but they were very, very near. You could feel it. The atmosphere was red-hot."