A SOCCER hooligans' website promoting violence and racism has been closed down.

The site included a calendar of forthcoming games with details of organised trouble and was linked to gangs throughout the North West including Blackburn.

It was created on the Lancashire Evening Telegraph's thisislancashire website using the CommuniGate service, which is aimed at enabling community groups, sport organisations or charities to set up their own site for free.

The hooligan site was spotted by staff as soon as it went online and was then reported to the police.

Called Blackburn Youth, the hooligan site also gave details of planned trouble during England's World Cup 2002 tour, which kicks off in June.

The website also contained bulletin boards so the thugs could swap messages, updates on the trouble so far this season, newspaper cuttings about football trouble and songs.

Soccer hooligans are increasingly using modern technology including the internet and mobile phones to co-ordinate their activities.