Liverpool fan speaks after Naples stabbing ordeal

A DEDICATED Liverpool fan who was the victim of an unprovoked attacked by a vicious gang of Italian hooligans says he will still travel abroad to watch his beloved club.

Gary Brown, from Arlesey, flew to Naples with two of his sons Adam, 17, and Daniel, 23, plus family friend Ross Hazeldene, 23, to watch the Anfield club’s Europa League clash with Napoli last Thursday.

The 50-year-old said: “We had been there for a couple of days and we had done Pompeii and all the bars and restaurants and it was all good, we were having a good time.

“Although it was very unnerving because there were slum areas everywhere.”

The Reds fans were drinking at a bar early last Thursday morning near the central Piazza Garibaldi when they decided to call it a night.

Their hotel was only about a hundred metres away, but before they could get back to the building they were set upon by a gang of between 20-30 Napolese ultra fans, armed with metal poles and knives.

The site manager said: “My son Daniel had left the bar to go back to the hotel half an hour before us and he had no problems at all.

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“There was about eight of us all together in the bar but Ross, Adam and myself left.

“We only had a hundred and fifty metres to go and Adam looked behind us and he saw about 20 or 30 people all with bars and knives.

“So we decided just to peg it to the hotel, we ran towards the hotel but there was another group of youths around the corner in the square.

“They had two sets of doors that were done up, we pulled one set apart and the inside doors were like security ones that you had to ring a bell for.

“As we went through the first set I felt a whack on the top of my head, it put a two or three inch split in my head.

“They whacked Adam across the back with what we think was a metal bar and we didn’t realise that at the same time Ross had been stabbed.

“My head was just gushing with blood and Ross sort of felt that his boxers were really wet, he pulled his hands up and they were covered with blood.

“That’s when he first realised he had been stabbed, the adrenaline takes over.”

A member of staff in the hotel let the three injured men in and the police arrived shortly afterwards and took them to the hospital.

They were later taken to the police station where Mr Brown praised the Naplolese force as “very good” - however he says that the attacks picked up by the national press were the tip of the iceberg.

He said: “We had heard that there were a couple of stabbings before this all happened anyway but it was just going off left right and centre.

“Out of the hotel window you could see groups of boys attacking other people with sticks, even during the day time.

“After the match there was a McDonalds by the hotel and there was a lad stabbed in the head there as well the same night.

“I was talking to loads of people and there was quite a few that were reported, but there were numerous other ones that weren’t even reported.”

After the assault the group decided to miss the game and fly home.

However Mr Brown, who has been travelling to games with his sons for a number of years, will fly to Romania to watch the Merseyside club in a crucial European game in December.

He said: “Initially I thought am I too old for this, then I started thinking there’s guys that watch Liverpool who are 70 years of age and they don’t miss an away game.

“I thought I’m still going to go but I have never known a place like Naples in all my years.”

Adam Brown, despite the ordeal, played centre-back for Bedfordshire under-18’s in their recent clash against Worcester, helping to put his side through to the next round of a national tournament.