A young disabled Manchester United was ‘hit by a coin’ thrown from the crowd while attending his first game at Old Trafford, his dad says.
George Howe, 12, suffered a gash to the head after being struck by the missile while sat in the disabled stand during the second half of Thursday night’s game against Arsenal.
His dad James Howe says the coin was thrown from the away stand above the disabled section.
George, who has epilepsy, brain scarring and autism and suffers from seizures, was treated by medical staff at the ground before being checked out at A&E at Stepping Hill hospital in Stockport.
James, from the High Peak in Derbyshire, told the Manchester Evening News items thrown from the stand were landing in the disabled section throughout the match, which United won 3-2.
He also says he saw Arsenal fans mocking young fans in wheelchairs as they took their seats before the game.
“ It was disgusting,” he said.
“You could just tell before kick off it was going to be one of those games. You could sense it in the atmosphere.
“After about 20 minutes they started throwing bottles, bottle caps, full pies.
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“They were landing right near where George was sat, so I swapped seats with him to try and stop him getting hit.
“For the whole of the second half I was getting pelted with coins, then with about 15 minutes to go, one hit George on the top of his head.
“It left a hell of a gash. And with him suffering seizures it’s not ideal for him to be hit on the head.”
The father and son are attempting to watch a game at every Premier League ground this season.
Thursday night was the 10th match they’ve been to, but James said it was ‘by far the worst experience we’ve had’.
He added: “Last year George was really bad in hospital so I asked him afterwards what would make him happy and he said he wanted to watch a game at every Premier League ground.
“Thursday night was our 10th ground and as United fans we hoped it would be the best one.
“I’m a Red but I have to put my hands up and say this was by far the worst experience we’ve had so far.
“George is alright, but with his autism he now associates going to the football with people throwing things.
“It’s really sad, especially because this was his first game at Old Trafford.
“I just hope we can break that cycle before we go to our next game and give him a better experience.”
Manchester United and Arsenal say they are working together in an attempt to identify the fans who threw the objects.
CCTV footage is being checked and if identified the culprits will be banned from attending future Arsenal matches, it’s understood.Internet Explorer Channel Network