SHEFFIELD Wednesday fans are set to sue Lancashire Police for alleged brutality at last month's Worthington Cup semi-final.

The supporters claim they were attacked by police officers wearing riot gear during the game at Ewood Park.

And several Wednesday fans have taken their claims to a firm of solicitors in the city who are now handling the case.

Solicitor Iftikhar Manzoor of firm Irwin Mitchell, said: "On the face of it there does seem to be a case of police brutality.

"We have written to the Lancashire force, who, I understand, have launched their own investigation."

Lancashire Police bosses have submitted a report to the Home Office about the actions of officers during the controversial match after Home Secretary and Sheffield MP David Blunkett called for a report into the police tactics.

The Home Office is now looking at the report.

Police bosses have defended their actions, saying that any force used was justified.

Chief Inspector Neil Smith, who was at the match said the behaviour of a section of Sheffield Wednesday supporters had been 'appalling' with some fans surging forward trying to invade the pitch.

Others had thrown coins and broken plastic seating to use as missiles. Twelve fans were arrested.

He added: "It was the worst example of disorder we have had at Ewood Park this season.

"The reason we have to resort to these tactics is because of the behaviour of some supporters.

"Officers are entitled to use their batons for protection and for the purpose of protecting the public."

He denied some fans' claims that officers on police horses had hit supporters with batons as they made their way back to the coaches and added: "I did not see any disorder outside the ground.

"There was a very small minority of about 30 people causing trouble among 5,200 Sheffield supporters."

A spokesman for Blackburn Rovers said the club did not want to comment on a police matter.