[bold] Police break up rival sci-fi fans’ feud [/bold]
Star Wars fans and Doctor Who fans had to be separated by police after a brawl threatened to break out at a special sci-fi convention.
More than a dozen fans from the rival groups – including several in fancy dress – were involved in bitter exchanges outside the venue.
Both sides admitted there had been a long-running rivalry between the Norwich Sci Fi Club and the Norwich Star Wars Club.
The dispute erupted after the treasurer of Norwich Sci Fi Club, Jim Poole, arrived at the event hosted by the rival club at the University of East Anglia.
He was asked to leave as he approached Doctor Who actor Graham Cole for an autograph – leading to a stand-off which was only resolved by police and university security.
Police confirmed they had been called to reports of a man being assaulted and arrived to find a dispute between two groups.A spokesman said: ‘After lengthy investigation, talking to witnesses and reviewing good CCTV footage, it was confirmed that there was no assault.
‘The two rival groups were spoken to and advised to keep out of each other’s way.’
Organiser Richard Walker, 63, claimed the visiting club had been trying to undermine the convention by posting comments on Facebook.
But Mr Poole insisted he had attended ‘in good faith’ to collect autographs from two actors to be auctioned for charity.
More than 1,000 people attended the convention, which returned after a three-year absence, and Mr Walker shrugged off the fracas.
He told the Norwich Evening News: ‘It takes about six or seven months to organise a fair, but it’s been really good.’