Eddie McKay, 58, was stabbed twice before other fans rushed to intervene and the gang ran off. Police said no items were stolen and he is currently recovering in hospital. His injuries are not said to be life threatening but one of the wounds on his back was deep and he has been kept in for observation.
The Newcastle supporter was walking home from a night out in Milan’s Navigli district where the majority of travelling fans had congregated on Monday evening, when he was attacked by a group of around seven to eight people.
Riot police were used to disperse supporters from the Navigli area but there were reports of violent clashes as fans celebrated their unexpected return to European football’s most prestigious competition.
Newcastle said in a statement: “We are deeply concerned by reports that a supporter was seriously assaulted in Milan on Monday evening and we are liaising with local authorities to understand the circumstances.
“Our thoughts are with the supporter and their family and we hope for a full and speedy recovery.”
There have also been other claims on social media of fans being attacked as they made their way back from bars to their accommodation. Newcastle United Supporters Trust has advised supporters not to walk around late at night on their own and to stick in large groups.
‘My dad is stable but in shock’
Mr McKay’s family said that he was attacked after falling over while being chased, and that he had spoken to them to confirm he is not in a life-threatening condition and to warn other fans to be vigilant.
“My dad is stable but in shock,” McKay’s daughter, Rachel, reportedly told Sky Sports. “He is gutted he’s missing the match but just wants every other Newcastle fan out there to be aware of this and be safe.
“He just had two knee replacements so he fell when he was being chased and that is when he was attacked. I’m flying out there.”
Newcastle have sold out their 4,500 allocation for their match against AC Milan at the San Siro and it is believed as many as 1,000 supporters have made the trip to Milan without tickets.