Pitch invaders handed bans from Pompey

Wesley Young being held back by stewards at Fratton Park. Picture: Dave Taylor
Wesley Young being held back by stewards at Fratton Park. Picture: Dave Taylor
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POMPEY fans who stormed on to the pitch at Fratton Park have been banned from matches for three years.

Up to 20 supporters ran from the stands as Oldham headed to victory in the match last September, a court heard.

Steven Wiltshire, left, and  Wesley Young have been given three-year football banning orders

Steven Wiltshire, left, and Wesley Young have been given three-year football banning orders

Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court heard play was stopped for seven minutes and a steward suffered a black eye after being punched.

Portsmouth police launched a major appeal to track those responsible for the invasion, sparked when Oldham scored in the 70th minute.

Unemployed Wesley Young and groundworker Steven Wiltshire were hauled into court after being identified.

Both men, who had been drinking before the game, admitted going on to the playing area, an offence under the Football (Offences) Act 1991 and were given three-year football banning orders.

Prosecutor Alicia Keen said: ‘The Oldham supporters jumped up and down in celebration and seemed to upset the Portsmouth fans.

‘A number of them ran on to the pitch towards the Oldham supporters, somewhere between 17 and 20 of them.

‘They were stopped by stewards and police and pushed back into where they were supposed to be in the ground.

‘There was at that point no actual incident between the fans and the game had to be stopped for seven minutes.

‘A steward was punched and received a black eye as a result of that.

‘No-one has been particularly identified as doing that and certainly not these two.’

It’s understood more cases are set to come to court after The News ran a major appeal to help identify people following ‘aggressive behaviour’.

Some youths who were identified underwent workshops with Pompey in the Community instead of facing any other police action.

Graham Hopley, for dad-of-one Wiltshire, of Paxton Road, Fareham, said: ‘They were just joining in for the moment.’

Wiltshire had been suffering a relationship breakdown at the time and now lives with his brother and his wife.

Young, of Wicor Mill Lane, Portchester, who was not represented, has no previous convictions.

He said: ‘Oldham had scored and I was down the bottom when the rest went onto the pitch and I followed.

‘I admit what I done was wrong.’

District judge Anne Arnold fined them both £100 with a £30 victim surcharge and £85 prosecution costs to pay each.

Oldham Athletic won 2-1 at the match on September 30.