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Man Utd bus ‘smashed up’ before West Ham game

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The bus carrying the Manchester United team is escorted by police after having a window smashed on its way to West Ham's Boleyn Ground

The bus carrying the Manchester United team is escorted by police after having a window smashed on its way to West Ham’s Boleyn Ground

LONDON, May 10 – Fans pelted Manchester United’s team bus with bottles and other missiles outside West Ham United’s ground on Tuesday forcing a delay to their Premier League game.

Visiting captain Wayne Rooney said the vehicle was “smashed up”.

Video footage circulating on social media showed the team bus being hit with cans and bottles thrown by fans as it arrived at West Ham’s Boleyn Ground in east London.

Kick-off in West Ham’s final game at the landmark stadium was delayed by 45 minutes until 1930 GMT after the incidents.

One image showed a gaping hole in a pane of protective glass.

Rooney told Sky Sports television: “We know it’s a big game for West Ham, a big night for them, leaving the stadium, but I’m sure West Ham as a club will be disappointed with what the fans have done.”

West Ham co-chairman David Sullivan blamed United for not arriving earlier however. He claimed the bus had not been damaged.

“I don’t understand why United couldn’t get here at four o’clock,” he told BBC Radio 5 Live. “They could have got here early. They knew it would be busy. It’s crazy.

“There was congestion in the street and they couldn’t get the coach in. There were people around the coach, but there was no attack on the coach.

“If you check the coach there won’t be any damage to it.”

A smoke bomb among fans and police before the game. Photograph: Eddie Keogh/Reuters

A smoke bomb among fans and police before the game. Photograph: Eddie Keogh/Reuters

But United manager Louis van Gaal echoed Rooney, saying: “What do I have to tell? The images tell everything.”

The Boleyn Ground has been West Ham’s home since 1904.

The club are moving to the nearby Olympic Stadium at the end of season and were due to stage a farewell ceremony following Tuesday’s game.

Manchester United had also been delayed arriving for their game at Tottenham Hotspur, also in London, a month ago, when kick-off again had to be put back.

On that occasion, traffic congestion was blamed.

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