Login Register

City boss fears for his family

THE owner of Chester City Football Club says he and his family are living in constant fear after abuse from disgruntled fans.

THE owner of Chester City Football Club says he and his family are living in constant fear after abuse from disgruntled fans.

Terry Smith claims their home has come under attack from fans throwing bricks and rotten fruit and vegetables.

A controversial figure at the Deva Stadium, Mr Smith claims between eight and 15 protesters block the entrance to the club each day and have plastered more than 50 posters and banners around the area, which he alleges are abusive to club officials and particularly to himself.

He said: 'The posters are not only abusive, vulgar, threatening and defamatory but they also display their siege warfare tactics.

'My family has been under attack for more than 12 months, and these attacks have escalated over the past few months.

'We have had to endure many of our windows smashed with rocks being thrown, and there are rocks hitting the house a few days each week.

'Our home has been attacked by more than a hundred rotten potatoes, apples and oranges and protesters have come to my home and put up 15 abusive posters all over the fence and gate.

'I have been threatened on the phone at the stadium and in person by protesters, and my home number has been put on the internet, with people told to telephone me and my family.

'A group of five protesters came to my home and took two rolls of photographs of every detail of our family life with a telescopic zoom lens. These people then bragged about their photographs on the website. Who knows what plans they have for these photos?'

Mr Smith, who resigned as chairman last month, alleges that his car has been attacked by protesters and that fans have threatened club staff and have forced him to run a gauntlet every day to get to and from work, as fans swarm around his car.

Barry Hipkiss, chairman of the Chester City Football Club Official Supporters Club, last night said he condemned anyone abusing members of Mr Smith's family.

He added: 'I understand that people are angry about what is happening at the club, but nobody has the right to be threatening, and I certainly condemn anyone who threatens or abuses Mr Smith's family. They have absolutely nothing to do with the club's problems.'

George Rogers, Independent Supporters Association organiser, who is manning a constant picket line outside the ground, said: 'I deny that we are being abusive or threatening to club members.

'I know that some people went round to Smith's home but, as far as I know, they were not ISA members and I don't support action of this kind. Our picket is totally peaceful and we have had several visits from the police, who have spoken to us.

'But we know how to picket and we are not even on Chester FC land, so we are certainly not stopping anyone entering or leaving the club.'

A spokesman for Cheshire Police last night said: 'Our officers are aware of what is going on outside the club and have spoken to pickets to make it clear just what the law allows.

'One of our senior officers, Inspector Geoff Williams, has seen Mr Smith's complaints and has now followed them up.'

Last week, Chester City was banned from opening its ground to the public amid safety fears.

Trading standards chiefs took the decision after the club failed to guarantee the requisite number of stewards at the Deva Stadium.

The Nationwide Conference club now faces a race against time to solve the problems before the first game of the season against Woking on August 18.

Pre-season games against Everton and Tranmere have already been cancelled and a string of further friendlies now face the axe.

The club has the right of appeal against the decision.`


David Holmes
Chief News Reporter
David Norbury
Mike Fuller
Contact Us
Full contact details