A MOUNTED police officer was pulled from his horse as he tried to arrest a thug following Saturday's Wear-Tees football derby.

The officer was warning a man about his behaviour after the match, when Sunderland beat rivals Middlesbrough 1-0.

He was about to take hold of the man when he was pulled from the horse, in Hay Street, near Sunderland's Stadium of Light.

The officer was not believed to have been seriously hurt.

Detectives are studying security television footage taken before, during and after the match to help identify the culprit.

The man was white, early 20s, 5ft 8ins, of medium to slim build. He was clean shaven, had short blond hair and was wearing a white jacket and white, or light-coloured, baseball cap.

Anyone with information can call CID on 0191-454 7555.