Seven men have been arrested today (Wednesday 17th May) following a series of early morning warrants in relation to the death of football fan, Tony Johnson (pictured), in Blackpool.
Mr Johnson, 55, sadly died after being assaulted on Saturday, March 4th, following a football match between Blackpool and Burnley earlier that day. The assault occurred outside The Manchester pub, at the junction of the Promenade and Lytham Road.
Mr Johnson suffered a serious head injury and was taken to hospital, but sadly died later that night.
A 33-year-old man from Burnley was arrested at the scene on suspicion of wounding and was later bailed, pending further enquiries.
Enquiries have been ongoing since then and this morning (Wednesday, May 17th) warrants were carried out at four addresses in the Fylde area and four addresses in the Burnley area, as part of the investigation.
From those, six people have been arrested on suspicion of violent disorder. They are:
➡️ A 49-year-old man from Blackpool
➡️ An 18-year-old man from Poulton-le-Fylde
➡️ An 18-year-old man from Foulridge
➡️ A 28-year-old man from Blackpool
➡️ A 31-year-old man from Colne
➡️ A 45-year-old man from Foulridge
The 33-year-old man who was arrested immediately following Mr Johnson’s death was also re-arrested this morning on suspicion of manslaughter.
All seven men remain in custody at this time.
Supt Chris Hardy, of Lancashire Police’s West Division, said: “First and foremost, our thoughts remain with the loved ones of Mr Johnson at this difficult time, and we are determined to get answers for them. Our investigation is very much ongoing and at 7am this morning a co-ordinated series of warrants were executed. As a result six men have been arrested and a seventh person has been re-arrested.
“We continue to ask anybody with information about this incident to get in touch. Perhaps you know who was involved or have overheard somebody talking about it, or maybe you were in the area and saw something you have not yet shared with police.
“Whatever information you have, please tell us, by calling 101 and quoting log 675 of March 6th.”
He added: “We are aware that the majority of fans attending fixtures are there to enjoy the game, and we hope this operation – led by our FMIT Team and supported by Lancashire’s Dedicated Football Officers – sends a very clear message that we will not condone behaviour which puts people at risk of serious harm, or worse. Going forward we will continue to work with the club and the UK Football Policing Unit to deal with anyone whose behaviour is unacceptable at football within Blackpool.”