“Varsity could be cancelled” following rowdy behaviour

A University official has warned that the future of Varsity could be in danger following disorderly behaviour at the men’s rugby final last Wednesday.

Headingley Stadium has handed out a string of £1,000 fines to students who ran on to the pitch on the night of the game.

Police are also reviewing CCTV footage after an alleged assault, in which a female spectator was apparently punched amid a scuffle.

Further reports of rowdy behaviour include damage to seats and fans who urinated in cups before throwing them into the crowd.

The University’s Higher Education Police Officer PC Matt Guy told The Gryphon: “Varsity will potentially be cancelled if this behaviour continues. We’re potentially going to have a death. It’s a real shame”.

Both the University and Headingley Stadium refused to confirm names or details of individuals being fined for pitch invasion while investigations are ongoing. However, several witnesses told The Gryphon that they appeared to be wearing clothing that suggested they were from a sports society of Leeds University.

Reports claim that a small number of University of Leeds supporters ran on to the pitch when the clock ran down to zero, apparently failing to realise that the match was still going on. One supporter said, “They were told by the Leeds Uni players to get off as the game hadn’t actually finished”.

Some students shared experiences of the night on social media, with one unfortunate spectator tweeting, “Lol got a cup of piss in ma face #leedsvarsity”.

The Leeds Beckett Varsity Facebook page had posted a warning the day before the game, explaining, “Streakers will not be tolerated at the Varsity finale and will incur a £1,000 fine!”

However, The Gryphon understands that the fans who invaded the pitch were fully clothed.
The men’s rugby final at Headingley Stadium attracted a record 15,535 people, with the University thrashing rival Leeds Beckett 20-9.

Charlotte Mason

(Image: Daniel Mortimer)

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