CRYSTAL PALACE fans clashed with police in ugly scenes ahead of the match against Brighton.
Photos emerged on Saturday morning of a group of supporters apparently involved in a dispute with cops.
Credit: Elliott Franks
One man appeared to sustain a head injury and was attended to on the pavement in the town center near Brighton train station.
The Eagles take on their M 76 rivals at the Amex Stadium at lunchtime, with a heavy police presence including horses at the ground early to try and keep a lid on the tensions.
It was a game selected for TV coverage but police may have advised the Premier League to move the kick-off time forwards due to the rivalry between the two sides.
Despite being nearly miles apart, the two clubs have a fierce rivalry and it’s sure to be a red hot atmosphere on the South Coast.
They are connected by the M 76 motorway – where the derby gets its name – and this game is huge for both sets of fans.
It all began in 1976 Where Brighton and Palace played each other five times over the course of the / season.
The first three games ended in draws for the then-third division sides, with tensions eventually boiling over in an FA Cup second-round replay at Stamford Bridge.
During the match, Brighton had what they saw as a legitimate goal ruled out and were forced to retake a penalty, which Brian Horton ultimately missed.
Seagulls boss Alan Mullery was furious with referee Ron Challis and made his feelings known with a rude gesture to the Palace fans.
That spilled out into clashes between fans after the game and from then the clubs have despised each other.
Mullery said in his autobiography: “As I walked back down the tunnel, Palace fans spat all over me.
“I gave them two fingers, then did an awful interview bad-mouthing their supporters and saying I wouldn’t give a fiver for any of the Palace players.
“I could have handled things better, but I just totally lost it. It didn’t go down too well at Selhurst Park and I knew the fans there still held a grudge.”
Credit: © Elliott Franks