Ilford man caught in ‘anti-Semitic’ attack on Spurs fans in Lyon bar

Damage at the Smoking Dog pub in Lyon,. Photo: Paul Hirst

Damage at the Smoking Dog pub in Lyon,. Photo: Paul Hirst - Credit: PA Wire/Press Association Images

An Ilford man witnessed the brutal “anti-Semitic” attack on Tottenham Hotspur fans in a Lyon bar yesterday evening.

James Taylor, 22, drove through the night for today’s Europa League second round clash.

He was in the Smoking Dog pub in Lyon with Spurs fans when a group of up to 50 masked thugs smashed doors and threw chairs and projectiles at the people inside at around 10.30pm.

Mr Taylor said: “It was pre-meditated, pre-arranged. It was nothing to do with Spurs fans.

“We were in the pub having a few drinks at about 10pm. There were about 150 Spurs fans singing. It was all in good nature.

“Then there was a bang. We ignored the first one and there was a second one, suddenly.

“The windows were smashed and stools were thrown into the pub. We ran back to hide.

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“We were stuck in the back of the pub for about half an hour. We were worried. No Spurs fans were violent or too drunk.”

Three Tottenham fans are said to have been taken to hospital, one with a head injury.

Eye-witnesses claimed the attack could have had an anti-Semitic motive.

Spurs fan Christian Radnege, who was in the bar at the time, said: “They came in making Nazi salutes. It was frightening.

“Rome was fresh in everyone’s minds. Everyone realised this was serious.

“They left and then we thought that was it, but five minutes later it started again.

“The intruders did not get in to the bar because it was full of Spurs fans.

“There were drips of blood left in the bar. The owners barricaded the pub between the two waves of attacks.”

It is the second time that Tottenham fans have been targeted by an apparent anti-Semitic attack in the last three months. In November, fans of the club, which has a traditionally strong Jewish following, were ambushed inside a pub in Rome on the eve of their game against Lazio.

A spokesman for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office said: “We are aware of reports of an attack on British nationals in France and are offering consular assistance.”

Tottenham said they were aware of reports of the attack.