A MAJOR investigation into football hooligans who fought running battles on the streets of Fulham has come to an end.
The final three thugs charged with affray and violent disorder faced justice at Isleworth Crown Court on December 22.
It ended a widespread investigation which has seen 93 people convicted and sentences totalling 75 years in prison and 460 years of football banning orders handed down.
Detective superintendent William Lyle, of Hammersmith and Fulham police and who led the investigation, said: “This has been a tireless and vast investigation to identify and prosecute those who turned our nation's beautiful game into an ugly and shocking event.”
Police launched Operation Ternhill in February 2010 after violence erupted on the Fulham streets between Chelsea and Cardiff City supporters.
The two teams were playing each other in the FA Cup third round when trouble flared up before the midday kick-off with supporters clashing in Fulham Road with smoke bombs set off and fights breaking out.
An organised fight broke out after the game at the Holmead Road junction of Fulham Road with members of the public caught up in the horrific fighting.
Officers formed a line to separate the two sets of fans but some broke off down an alleyway and around 200 clashed on the King's Road where they used bricks and traffic cones as missiles.
Police deployed a helicopter to film the violence and one officer needed surgery after being hit by a brick and, during the 18-month investigation, police issued hundreds of CCTV images to help them track down the suspects.
“A large number of these men are career football hooligans who have been involved in serious acts of violence over a number of years. On the flip-side, others involved were first-time offenders.
“Whilst the police identified and arrested a large number of the convicted, it is the genuine fans and the community we would like to thank for coming forward and identifying people in our media appeals.”
A spokesman for Chelsea FC said: “We fully supported the police with these prosecutions. Those convicted who are either members or season-ticket holders will be banned indefinitely from Stamford Bridge.
“These are a minority and do not represent the thousands of Chelsea supporters who travel throughout England and Europe without resorting to this type of criminal behaviour.”