Police investigating 50-strong ‘violent disorder’ incident after Bolton vs Wigan game

Tensions are always high on derby day.

Danny Jones Danny Jones - 24th August 2023

Greater Manchester Police are currently investigating a large incident of fan violence after groups of Bolton Wanderers and Wigan Athletic fans clashed this past weekend.

Following the Wanderers‘ 4-0 home defeat to the Latics on Saturday, 19 August, an estimated 50 football fans are said to have been involved in fighting and violent conduct on Market Street in the town of Westhoughton, less than 10 minutes from Bolton’s Toughsheet Stadium.

With Bolton vs Wigan being a long-standing derby in Greater Manchester and both teams competing not far from each other in League One, police had already warned that they would deliver a “swift response” to any violence.

The clash is said to have taken place around 4:30pm, leaving one man in need of hospital treatment and resulting in two arrests after a Section 34 Dispersal Order was issued and the group was escorted away from the area.

Footage of Bolton Wanderers and Wigan Athletic fans fighting.
Police shutting down a section of Market Street, Westhoughton.

Two men have since been released on bail pending further enquiries but the local authorities and GMP are still asking for members of the public to assist with the investigation.


Setting up a Major Incident Public Portal (MIPP) for locals to upload information, photos and video, the police are urging people to come forward with any information they might have.

Danny O’Neil, Superintendent of GMP’s Bolton district, said: “This level of violence and disorder will not be tolerated and we are determined to locate those involved so they can be dealt with appropriately. 


“Officers’ body-cam footage is being reviewed but we are also appealing for members of the public to come forward with any information, photos or footage of the incident. 

“If the violence is linked to the Bolton Wanderers and Wigan Athletic game, we will be seeking banning orders on those identified, as well as prosecuting them.”

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He concluded by stating: “We would urge anyone who can help us identify those responsible to get in touch with us via the MIPP, 101 or anonymously through the independent charity – Crimestoppers – on 0800 555 111.” 


If you or anyone you know might have details regarding the incident, please get in touch using the phone number provided or by uploading any info via the portal HERE.

Those reporting by phone should quote log 2621 of 19/08/2023

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Featured Image — @mwoodPUSB (via Twitter)/Greater Manchester Police