FANS who were banned from a football club for ‘bad behaviour’ have hit back at being branded ‘idiots’.
A group of Fareham Town FC fans were condemned by Newport IW FC and Fareham Town FC after they were kicked out of Saturday’s match at the Isle of Wight club.
Posts on social media branded the group ‘idiots’ for their rowdy behaviour and both clubs banned the fans from their grounds.
But fan Luke Wainwright said the group did not mean to cause any offence.
He said: ‘As a young boy going to football, I loved the atmosphere walking towards the stadium of my beloved club and hearing the chants and banter from all.
‘This is what made me fall in love with the game in the first place, the excitement, the buzz, whatever you want to call it.’
He said the group had travelled over to the Isle of Wight to watch the game as part of the celebrations for a friend’s birthday.
When they arrived on the island, they went to a pub where they put up their flag, had a few drinks and put on some bets. They then headed to the football ground in Newport.
Luke said: ‘En route we came up with some relevant and witty chants to spur on our home team.
‘As we approached the ground, excitement was building and we used the clubhouse facilities.
‘As kick off was looming we tried out a few of our witty chants hoping the Fareham Town FC players and staff could hear to give them that boost which all football clubs around the globe strive for.
‘The whistle went and the game kicked off.
‘We were jumping, chanting and having a great time, which is what being a supporter is all about.
‘We didn’t hurt anyone, we didn’t abuse anyone and we certainly did not mean to offend anyone in any way.’
Around a dozen fans were escorted from the ground during the match.
A statement from Fareham Town FC said: ‘A group of individuals who claimed to be Fareham Town supporters caused issues both before and during the first half.
‘To the best of our knowledge, these individuals have never been seen at Cams Alders and are now banned from entering the stadium with immediate effect.
‘All sensible-minded people at the game including our players, management, officials and regular away supporters were as disgusted by their behaviour as we are sure everyone else at the ground was.’
The club apologised to the anyone at the match, which Newport FC won 2-0.
It said: ‘To anyone at the game, we continue to offer the same unreserved apology for the actions of those people using our clubs good name as an umbrella for their actions which have no place in civilised society let alone a football ground.’