Pensioner trampled on at Stags match said: “I thought I was going to die”

John Wilmott
John Wilmott

A 73-year-old football fan feared he was going to die after being thrown from his seat and trampled on by fellow supporters during Saturday’s Mansfield Town’s game against Notts County.

Lifelong County fan John Wilmott was left injured and needing treatment during the 5-0 defeat at the One Call Stadium.

The Notts fans behind the goal

The Notts fans behind the goal

Mr Wilmott, who had been sat with his friend on the front row behind the goal, said the two sets of opposing fans had been goading each other all match and ‘all hell broke loose’ when Stags scored their second goal 12 minutes into the second half.

He said: “I felt this kick in my back and it sent me flying in the air and I landed on the concrete, then seconds later I felt people stamping on me.

“All I could hear was someone shouting ‘there’s someone on the floor’.

“I thought my life was going to end, miraculously I’m not seriously injured.

“The police and stewards managed to pick me up off the floor and put me back in my seat until the St John Ambulance arrived. I spent the rest of the game with them.

“I have never experienced anything like this before. All I was doing was sat in a seat.

“All I want to see is a full report and if this is what it has come to, it needs addressing, it’s absolutely essential.

“The club will have CCTV and I want to find out what happened.

“These sorts of things should not happen. It’s a lovely game but it has to be played in the right spirit.”

Mr Wilmott’s friend, Denis Robinson, added: “There was a lot of chanting with slurred voices, indicating that drink may have been involved.

“We thought such violence at football grounds was a thing of the past.

“I am partly disabled and have a heart condition, and the incident has left me a bit traumatised.”

Meanwhile, Mr Wilmott, who is from Hucknall and sits on Nottinghamshire County Council, said there was also issues with seating for the away fans at the One Call Stadium before and during the game.

More than 1,700 Notts County fans snapped up tickets for the match.

“It was unbelievable, there was no visible control,” added Mr Wilmott.

“Many people had gone to the wrong area to be with their friends.

“There seemed to be plenty of marshals but it was such a large crowd I don’t think they were used to it.”

In response, a statement issued by Mansfield Town reads: “The club is aware of the unfortunate incident involving Mr Wilmott during Saturday’s match at One Call Stadium.

“The club was very concerned of his welfare and great credit should be given to our stewards and first-aiders who immediately attended to Mr Wilmott with the utmost professionalism and care.

“The club had significantly increased the numbers of stewards for this match. The fixture also saw an increased police presence.

“Both our stewards and the police managed the aforementioned situation extremely efficiently and professionally and their conduct was both selfless and brave.

“The club has little doubt but for the presence of the stewards and police, greater disruption could have been experienced in the North Stand.

“Unfortunately, a group of approximately 50 spectators in the North Stand simply decided to sit where they wanted. Upon attempting to re-direct the said spectators into the correct seating, our stewards were met with volleys of abuse.

“After consultation with Nottinghamshire Police, the advice received was that it would create excessive disturbance to re-direct such a large section of spectators into their correct seats.”