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A smoke bomb at Filbert Street in October 1981

Smoke flares on the pitch at Filbert Street in October 1981 during Leicester City’s home game with Chelsea.

The match ended 1-1, but was marred by what the Mercury called “the worst outbreak of soccer violence in Leicester for months.”

A total of 45 people were arrested before, during and after the game, with coins thrown and scuffles breaking out “which twice sent terrified young fans spilling on to the surrounds of the pitch”.

In the streets afterwards there were brawls between “marauding Chelsea fans and local youths”. “They were like gorillas let loose out of a cage,” said onlooker Suzanne Whiting. “It was petrifying.”

“A free for all inside and outside Filbert Street,” remembered one Chelsea fan on the CFCnet website.

“There was a pitch invasion and a red smoke bomb went off next to us in the lower tier, when it cleared there was fighting all over the place and they had big fences to get over.

“I remember seeing a Chelsea skinhead girl getting stuck into the police before they dragged her away. That was a mad night.”

Article by Leicester Mercury

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