Hull City fans will march to Huddersfield library over hooligan 'branding'
HULL City supporters angry at "Draconian" travel restrictions imposed by West Yorkshire Police have been asked not to march on Huddersfield Town's stadium.
Instead, up to 1,000 supporters who believe they have wrongly been branded hooligans, are expected to march to the town's central library before the match on Saturday, March 30.
Fans wishing to attend the match have been told to use official Hull City coaches that will depart from the KC Stadium or park at Hartshead Moor Services on the M62, collect their tickets and be driven to John Smith's Stadium on shuttle buses.
Plans for the protest march have now been finalised by a number of Hull City supporters' groups who have formed a consortium.
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Chris Smith, spokesman for the Hull City Official Supporters' Club, said: "We made sensitive enquiries to West Yorkshire Police about marching to the John Smith's Stadium.
"But officers were, shall we say, less than lukewarm with that idea.
"So we will be forming up outside Huddersfield train station at 1.45pm, moving off at 2pm and we expect to reach the library at 2.30pm."
In front of the library, Louis Cooper, the 15-year-old Tigers fan who has hired a solicitor to threaten police with legal action for perceived discrimination, will address fans.
Mr Smith, who says he wants the march to be "peaceful with a carnival atmosphere", said: "The timing of the march will enable fans to get to the service station to board buses to the stadium."
Fans are asked to take along placards.
"I will be taking a sign that states I am a retired town clerk – not a football hooligan," said Mr Smith, who also requests fans bring soft drinks.
"We want the public to see us drinking soft drinks – not alcoholic ones."
Inside the ground, 100 T-shirts denouncing the travel restrictions will be distributed ahead of the game, which kicks off at 5.20pm.
Earlier this week, Hull City, in a strong-worded statement, accused West Yorkshire Police – who have put the match in its top security category – of an "unpalatable slur" on the club and labelled the restrictions "draconian".