Eight-year-old Blackpool FC fan left 'gushing with blood' after rowdy Preston North End fans throw lighter can at his head during derby

A young Blackpool FC fan had ‘blood gushing out’ of his head when an empty lighter fluid can was hurled at him after chaos broke out at the team’s derby clash against Preston North End.

By Wes Holmes
Thursday, 7th April 2022, 11:34 am
Updated Friday, 8th April 2022, 9:01 am

Eight-year-old Harry Slavin-Kayley needed emergency first aid when he was hit by the metal container at the end of the Preston North End vs Blackpool match at Deepdale Stadium on Tuesday (April 5).

The St John Vianney RC Primary School pupil had been snapped beaming beside his hero, Blackpool FC player Jordan Lawrence-Gabriel, just two hours before the shocking incident.

His dad Jordan Kayley, 35, said: “The atmosphere was really volatile. We were right next to the Preston fans, and we couldn’t move anywhere else because of how busy it was. There were coins and bottles being thrown. We sat with our hoods up, trying not to get hit.

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Harry suffered a cut to his forehead after an empty lighter fluid can was thrown at him

"The final whistle has gone and there was a lot of aggression on either side, and the next thing I knew was we were getting things thrown at us. Something flew past me and struck Harry in the head. He was holding his head, and when I removed his hand there was blood gushing out.”

Harry, who plays for the Bispham Junior Football Federation’s under-9s team, had attended the match with his dad. Shortly before the end of the game, the pair went to the bathroom, and were unable to get back to their seats due to the massive crowds.

They were watching the final minutes of the match at around 9pm when violence broke out, leading to the arrests of eight people for various offences including ‘being drunk and disorderly, assault and football-related offences’.

Harry with Blackpool FC player Jordan Lawrence-Gabriel

Jordan said: “We were shouting to the steward, trying to get some sort of medical help. He just shrugged his shoulders.

"The whole gangway was full of fans who could hardly move. There was a guy in front of me pushing people out of the way so we could get down into the paramedics’ room, and he was hit in the hand with a baton. The whole experience was just awful.”

Further violence was reported at the match, which resulted in a 1-0 win for Preston, as smoke grenades were thrown at police horses in Blackpool Road.

Harry’s mum Wendy Slavin, 38, of Hawes Side, said: “Harry goes to all the Blackpool matches and he was so excited, and to have that happen to him, for him to come back in that state, I think it’s terrible. He’s pale, he’s shaken, he’s hurt. It should never have happened.

Jordan Kayley with his son Harry Slavin-Kayley, 8, who suffered a deep cut on his forehead after rowdy Preston fans at the Blackpool V Preston match threw an empty light fluid can at him. Photo: Kelvin Stuttard

“I’m absolutely livid. Jordan was so upset too; he feels guilty that he couldn’t protect Harry and that he didn’t even know who did it to him.”

She added: “Harry’s had to miss school, and he’s meant to be playing in matches this weekend but he can’t do anything because he’s suffered a concussion. He’s quite upset about it.”

The incident was reported to Lancashire police.

A Preston North End spokesman said: “Whilst there were some isolated incidents we are satisfied that the game was policed and managed by ground safety to our total satisfaction, especially given the high risk nature of the fixture."