Monday, March 27, 2023

Trial date set for end of season over Grays boss and soccer violence charge

A FOOTBALL club boss today denied attempting to organise a pre-match brawl between rival fans.

Andrew Swallow, 52, chief executive of non-league Grays Athletic, was allegedly part of a group who plotted to set up a violent clash between Millwall and West Ham fans in January last year.

Swallow and Shane Flaxon, 26, both denied a single charge of conspiring to commit violent disorder, between December 13, 2011 until January 17, 2012, when they appeared at Inner London Crown Court.

The charge relates to activity before the FA Cup 3rd round fixture between Dagenham and Redbridge and Millwall FC on January 7.

Police busted the alleged conspiracy after receiving a tip-off that West Ham fans planned to ambush their rival Millwall supporters at the Eastbrooke pub, close to Dagenham and Redbridge grounds.

Co-defendants Mark Irving, 26, his brother Westley Irving, 25, Aidan Andrews, 41, and Shaun Sheridan, 25, have all pleaded not guilty to the same offence.

Businessman Swallow took over at Grays in 2009, and the club, who sit second in the Ryman League Division One North, have been groundless since 2010 when their Bridge Road ground was sold. They currently play at the West Ham training ground in Rush Green Road, Romford.

Swallow, of Biscayne Avenue, Docklands, and Flexon of College Road, Wiltshire, together with Mark Irving of Ingleby Road, Dagenham, brother Westley Irving, of Oxlow Lane, Dagenham, Andrews of Prospect House, St James Square, Bermondsey and Sheridan of Stansfield House, Longfield Estate, Bermondsey.

All six men will stand trial on June 17 this year.


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