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Dark blue side of the Force used to quell Star Wars nerd clash

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It was a conflict that didn't take place in a galaxy far, far away, but a little known corner of Norwich University.

Organisers of a sci-fi convention held in Alan Partridge's home town had to use the power of the (police) force after a barney erupted between two groups of furious nerds.

Officers were called after the treasurer of Norwich Sci Fi Club, Jim Poole, gatecrashed an event run by his arch-enemies the Norwich Star Wars Club on Sunday.

He turned up looking for an autograph from Doctor Who actor Graham Cole, but was asked to leave by his rivals. A tense stand-off involving about a dozen sci-fi fans, some of them done up in fancy dress, ensued, with police arriving after an assault was reported.

Poole and event organiser Richard Walker then took their argument outside, with the argument only brought to a conclusion following the intervention of university security staff and police.

A spokesman for the local police force 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.”

Walker, 63, claimed the rival club had been slagging off his event on Facebook. Yet his nemesis Poole claimed he had only turned up with the best of intentions and wanted to get some autographs to sell for charity.

Despite the minor brouhaha, more than 1,000 people attended the convention in the UEA, which returned this year after a three year absence.

This year, the convention reunited all four bounty hounters from the Star Wars film. Organisers also sold cult movie objects to raise money for Cancer Research UK.

Mr Walker claimed the day was very successful and said: “We will be back next year with an even bigger and better fair."

Let's hope his rival empire doesn't strike back when Norwich Sci-Fi Club stages its own event, the Nor-Con Norwich Sci Fi convention, which will be held on September 8, at the Norwich North Holiday Inn on Cromer Road. ®

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