Savage assault casts shadow over Halifax v Featherstone Rovers fixture

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Featherstone Rovers and Halifax fans will be segregated on Sunday as tensions remain high 18 months after a RL supporter was left partially paralysed following a savage assault.

Both clubs have agreed – in conjunction with police and the Rugby League – that fans should be kept apart during this Sunday’s Northern Rail cup group game at the Shay in Halifax.

Halifax fan David Singer, 34, was brutally beaten when violence flared after Halifax’s narrow Cooperative Championship Grand Final win over Featherstone Rovers at Warrington’s Halliwell Jones stadium in September 2010.

No-one has been charged in connection with the attack, which left Mr Singer paralysed on the left side of his body and confined to a wheelchair.

Trouble flared again last June between a minority of fans after Halifax’s 31-30 victory over Rovers in the Northern Rail Cup semi-final at Featherstone.

Halifax director Mike Riley said steps have been taken so families feel safe on Sunday, adding: “Both clubs are really fed up with these idiots and we want to shut them out.”

He added: “If anyone is mindless enough to cause trouble we will eject them from the ground.”

Rovers’ chairman Mark Campbell said: “Halifax and Rovers have wonderful, passionate, knowledgeable supporters, who have been betrayed by people not fit to stand amongst them on the terraces. Both clubs and the police have worked long and hard together to identify these people, people who are no longer welcome at our games.

“This weekend we’ll all show our love for each of our teams in the way that it is at every game no matter how big, but it’s also a priceless chance to show what unites us.

“We are united in our love of our clubs, our game, our humour and our decency. I hope Rovers win, but I believe strongly that the qualities that make the culture of Rugby League and its communities so special shines through this Sunday.”

Rovers’ fans have been allocated the Skircoat Stand. Admission to this stand is normally £18 but is to be reduced to £15 for Sunday’s game.

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