Rail bosses have backed down over plans to ban alcohol on trains to and from Huddersfield Town’s first game of the season on Saturday.
Town go to newly-relegated Hull City for the Championship opener and rail company First Trans-Pennine Express looked set to impose a so-called ‘dry train.’
Signs went up at Huddersfield Railway Station warning passengers that several services before and after the 3pm kick-off would be alcohol-free.
Town fans – recalling previous restrictions for the last game against Hull two years ago – complained they were being victimised for no reason.
After talks behind the scenes the ‘dry trains’ have been cancelled.
Steve King, chairman of Huddersfield Town Supporters’ Association, accused the authorities of using a “sledgehammer to crack a nut” and welcomed the U-turn.
“This dry train policy was never justified and only served to impact on genuine, honest fans who like to have a drink and go to the football,” he said.
“Ultimately, it’s about enjoying a day out. If you were an elderly couple going to watch Town and you like a sip of brandy on the train how would you feel? It’s just unfair.”
They initially limited Hull to 1,500 tickets and insisted all travelling fans came from Hull on official coaches.
Both sets of supporters joined forces to campaign for some of the restrictions to be lifted and won concessions including an extra 200 away tickets. There was a protest march in the town centre.
Fans argued that the hard-line police policy was based on an disturbance at a game between the clubs in Hull in 2004.
As a result of the controversy in 2013 police and crime commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson ordered a review into how he decision was made.
Mr King said: “I believe this incident 11 years ago has raised its head again with the dry trains.
“All we are asking is for the police and other authorities to make decisions on proper intelligence, not something that happened 11 years ago.
“They can’t just assume anyone getting on a train to go to football is going to cause trouble.”
A spokesman for First Trans-Pennine Express said: “After further discussions, we have reviewed the situation and decided not to invoke a ‘dry train’ policy.
“This is due to recent concerns expressed by some customers, which we have listened to and taken into consideration.
“However, we are still urging people to be considerate of other rail users travelling between Huddersfield and Hull on Saturday.
“Our staff and rail users have a right to work and travel in comfort, and we have a zero tolerance approach to anti-social behaviour.”