5:29pm Friday 9th November 2012
By Tony Kearney
A FOOTBALL fan has been treated in hospital after being stabbed ahead of Newcastle United’s Europa League match in Belgium.
The man is believed to have been attacked by a group of men in Brussels as he made his way to Bruges for Thursday night’s game.
The victim is understood to have been stabbed with a nail and his injuries are not life-threatening.
Rumours of the attack spread among the 5,000 Magpies’ fans, about half of them with tickets and the rest watching the game on big screens in Bruges city centre.
Fan John Davison, 33, from North Tyneside, said: "We were told someone was attacked but we’re just relieved it wasn’t too serious.
"We’ve had a great time and everyone has been well behaved – it’s a shame that something like this has happened.
Meanwhile, Newcastle United thanked their supporters for their "exemplary behaviour" before and after the team’s hard-fought 2-2 draw with hosts Club Brugge.
Belgian police staged a large-scale operation to keep visiting supporters in order during their visit to the country, but attended only a handful of incidents for drunken behaviour.
Manager Alan Pardew said: "Our fans respected the people and city of Bruges and helped contribute to a great atmosphere in and around the city as well as inside the stadium and we thank them for that.
"The support our club receives day in, day out wherever we play is absolutely magnificent".
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