by Nigel Freedman
A rising young soccer player was stabbed last night after being ambushed by three fans of a rival team.
Chelsea super boy- Bobby Isaac was attacked outside Millwall's ground, The Den.
The knifing happened just half-an-hour before the return Milk Cup tie between the two London clubs notorious for their hooligan supporters.
Two weeks ago they went to war against each other at the first leg of the match.
And after last night's game, there were more vicious clashes with police as the Old Kent Road was turned into a bloody battlefield.
Stab victim Bobby, 18, was “jumped” from behind as he arrived at The Den to watch his first-team heroes in action.
The Millwall gang asked him which team he supported. He said Millwall and was asked the name of their keeper. Bobby Chelsea's youth team player of the year last season could not remember.
Seconds later, he was slashed across his back from his armpit to the base of his spine.
Centre half Bobby was rushed to hospital where doctors feared he might have a punctured lung. But he was later released after treatment.
Council worker George Bennetts found blood soaked Bobby outside his flat.
Mr Bennetts, 57; said “He staggered towards me, clothes ripped, saying, “Can you help me?”
The violence after the match began as Millwall fans tried to smash through a police cordon to reach their hated rivals.
Other officers with riot shields, backed by mounted police and dogs, charged the Millwall mob.
A hail of missiles rained down on the police. And passers-by were knocked to the ground as the hooligans ran wild along the Old Kent Road.
The two sets of supporters had been segregated on opposite sides of the ground.
Hundreds of extra police were on duty to cope with expected trouble.
But as the Chelsea fans were being escorted away from the Den, the Millwall mob advanced.
They rushed Police lines near the Old Kent Road.
One victim with blood pouring from a head wound said “They are just animals”.
The Old Kent Road was blocked as Police cars and ambulances battled to get the injured away from the scene.
Officers chased the rioters through a nearby park and council estate. Half an hour after the game had ended, dozens of police vehicles were still patrolling the area as more fighting erupted.
by John Ryall
YOUNG soccer star was brutally stabbed minutes before kick-off in Tuesday's Millwall and Chelsea Milk Cup tie.
And later there were outbreaks of violence and vandalism in New Cross and the Old Kent Road - despite one of the biggest police -operations ever mounted around the Den
Chelsea reserve Robert Isaac, 18, was asked outside the ground which team he supported. He said Millwall - but faltered when asked to name the players.
Seconds later he was jumped from behind and slashed from shoulder to waist with a razor or Stanley knife.
Yesterday, Wednesday, Robert - a rising star of the reserve team - was home after hospital treatment. His leather jacket had prevented far more serious injury.
Police took every precaution before, during and after the match to avoid a bloody clash between thearch rival fans.
Tickets - coloured different for each team to ensure total segregation in the stands - had to be bought by October 2 and only ticket holders were admitted.
After the match around 3,000 Chelsea supporters were rounded up by mounted police and taken to South Bermondsey station under heavy escort.
There they were herded into special policed trains. But some Chelsea supporters gave police the slip and there were 19 arrests as fans clashed around New Cross Gate station and the Old Kent Road.
Police said none of the injured needed hospital treatment Supt Francis Wilkinson of Lewisham police said biggest crowd for six years - had been “generally kept well apart and well under control.”
“I think we can claim the operation was a success. Reports of riots after the match are nonsense.”
Meanwhile Millwall chairman Alan Thorne is furious at Fleet Street stories of 'riots'.
“All of it is unconfirmed, sheer nonsense,” he said. And he's written to the Daily Express banning its reporters from the Den.
by Rob Smith
I WENT in to the Lion's Den this week ... and came out unscathed.
Going by Press previews of Millwall’s Milk Cup battle with Chelsea, I expected the biggest explosion of violence since the Brixton riots.
I hate to disappoint you, but I didn't see a fist thrown in anger. The one really had incident happened outside the ground, when Chelsea's teenage reserve player Robert Isaac received a 12in. gash from a Stanley knife. He was released from Lewisham Hospital after treatment. For the record, 19 people were arrested at Tuesday's game - nine supposedly 'fans' of Millwall and 10 of Chelsea.
They were charged with various crimes, including criminal damage, possessing an offensive weapon, and threatening behaviour. The confrontation between two sets of fans with fearsome reputations - 48 were arrested during the first leg at Stamford Bridge - inspired a massive police operation.
In three meetings with Millwall, a police peace plan was drawn up running to six closely-typed pages, detailing every move of the officers on duty.
As a-result, all roads leading to The Den were sealed off, with police manning the barriers to check fans tickets - blue for Millwall, pink for Chelsea.
Police at New Cross Gate underground station were kept busy relaying the latest movements of Chelsea supporters to the operation's HQ, inside the Cold Blow Lane ground.
Horses, dogs and Police with riot shields waited for the first sign of trouble. A plan to shepherd the advancing fans to their separate entrances seemed to be working well.
Down the lightless Hornshay Street, the mounted police high on grassy banks were Orwellian in their effect.
● Light relief: A policeman clears a flare from the pitch
Most fans were searched before the turnstiles, and the flood lights brought the night alive as the pitch came into view.
The Chelsea end was not full. Some youths felt let down at the turn out, others surprised that so many had dared to come at all.
The away support made up roughly one quarter of the 11,517 crowd - the biggest at The Den for six years.
All were quiet when Millwall took the lead in the seventh minute. A trio in front of me were already planning their escape, deciding which mode of transport would get them north of the Thames quickest.
Chelsea soon equalised, and with the Lions needing three more goals to win overall, the lads behind the metal cages judged the result a formality.