Two men have been charged with public order offences after an offensive banner was hung across the M602 in Salford.
The three-metre paper banner was tied to a motorway bridge on the evening of Manchester United’s clash with Liverpool in the Europa League.
The route along the eastbound M602 would have been taken by Liverpool fans making their way to Old Trafford.
The banner included the date of the Hillsborough disaster, 15 April 1989 in which 96 Liverpool fans died at the FA Cup semi-final against Nottingham Forest.
Ainsley Meanock, 24, of Millbank Close, Oldham, and Jay Cornforth, 20, of Ashton Old Road, Manchester have both been charged with a Section 4 public order offence.
They are due to appear at Manchester and Salford Magistrates Court on 25 April 2016.
Greater Manchester Police tweeted that they had been “immediately dispatched” to the scene near Junction 2 of the M602 in Eccles and removed the banner.
In the match itself United were swept aside by Liverpool who went through to the competition’s quarter finals 3-1 on aggregate, but the evening was marred by fans attacking one another in the stadium’s East Stand.
In the final minutes of the match Liverpool fans loosed a banner which sparked violent clashes, punches were thrown and one seat was hurled between the two sets of fans, injuring a young child.
Liverpool fans also reportedly chanted ‘Munich’ at the Manchester fans, in reference to the 1958 air disaster in which 23 people were killed.
55 years on: Salford remembers Munich
Manchester United and Liverpool have been charged by Uefa over illicit chants, crowd disturbances, setting off fireworks, throwing of objects and blocking stairways.
Greater Manchester Police made five arrests after one fan let off a flare, scuffles broke out and a seat was thrown between two sets of supporters.
Nine more men are now wanted in connection with the fighting.
Police are asking the public to study these pictures to bring in the “mindless thugs” who carried out the violence.
Detective Sergeant Stephen Warriner said: “Football is a family event and the appalling violence that occurred that evening will not be tolerated by the clubs, the police or by the vast majority of supporters.
“A young child was hurt as a result of these mindless thugs, who paid absolutely no regard to the safety of those around them.
“A number of arrests have already been carried out, but now we need the public’s help to ensure those people capable of carrying out such violence are no longer welcome at our football grounds.
“Please take a few minutes to view the images and if you recognise anyone, please contact either myself or my team”.
“If necessary this can be done anonymously.”
Anyone with information is asked to call police on 0161 856 7525, or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.
Main image – @LiverpoolPost
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