Landlord tells of attack on fans

News Shopper: Several Spurs football fans have been wounded in an attack by Lazio fans in Rome Several Spurs football fans have been wounded in an attack by Lazio fans in Rome

The landlord of a pub where a group of English football fans were attacked by 50 knife-wielding Italian thugs has described the horrific ambush.

Marco Manzi said the troublemakers, fans of Lazio, stormed the Drunken Ship pub in Rome late on Wednesday night wearing motorcycle helmets and armed with weapons.

Speaking as police conducted a forensic search along the blood-stained cobbles of Campo de Fiori, Mr Manzi said the Tottenham Hotspur fans were well behaved ahead of their club's upcoming Europa league clash with Lazio in Rome.

Italian officials have said the hooligans known as Ultras - notorious thugs - had planned the attack which was "obviously organised". Mr Manzi spoke out after his American-owned pub, popular with international tourists, was left practically destroyed in the violence.

He said: "The bar was full of about 30 English supporters at 1am. Most of them were aged between 40 and 50 and they were well behaved. Then arrived what I presume were Italian supporters wearing scooter helmets with their faces covered with scarves carrying stones and rocks. They arrived in the pub and they attacked the English supporters.

"Some of the English supporters tried to escape down Via dei Cappellari and it was in this street where one of them was hit by a knife. I think he was quite badly hurt but I don't know any more about him. The whole operation from start to finish was over in around 10 minutes. Most of the fans left and the police arrived."

Rome police said up to 50 assailants were part of the raid which brought bloodshed to the popular night-spot - situated in one of the capital's most colourful and renowned squares.

Sources named four of the injured as Ashley Mills, Dave Lesley, Stephen Tierney and Christopher Allen. Mr Mills is said to have been stabbed and was seriously ill in the city's San Camillo Hospital. Police said a Californian and a Bangladeshi were also injured.

A spokesman for Tottenham Hotspur said: "We understand from local police that nine of our supporters suffered injuries last night following an incident in the city centre. Three of these supporters were taken to hospital for further treatment."

A spokesman for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office said security would be increased for the game. He said: "We have been in contact with one British national and have been updated by hospitals on the conditions of all the others, some of whom have already been released."

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