On this day: Portsmouth keeper slams ‘idiot’ fans after coin throw at Aston Villa

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On this day in 2008, Pompey keeper David James blasted the ‘mindless idiots’ who once again tainted the name of football.

The Blues’ impressive Premier League point at Aston Villa was marred by linesman Phil Sharp being felled by a 50p coin thrown from the crowd.

Former Pompey keeper David James

Former Pompey keeper David James

In the ensuing chaos, Harry Redknapp reacted with fury after being abused by a supporter situated behind the dugout.

Both Villa and the FA have now launched investigations to identify the perpetrators, equipped with the power to ban them for life.

Villa themselves face a massive fine for failing to keep their supporters under control.

And James launched a scathing attack on the culprits whose behaviour blighted the game.

He said: ‘You can obviously threaten them with expulsion from the ground but unfortunately you are not going to stop mindless idiots behaving in such a manner.

‘It’s a disgrace to Aston Villa, unfortunately, because it probably is an Aston Villa fan.

‘It’s a disgrace to football because we are, as a fraternity, trying to have respect to referees – respect to everybody.

‘These are the mindless few and it’s a shame because not everyone should suffer.

‘Hopefully the CCTV cameras picked up whoever it was who threw whatever it was so the club can then eject them and punish them. It’s not like the rest of the Villa fans should be suffering for one individual.

‘Things are improving but unfortunately there is always going to be a very small minority of mindless idiots who wreck it for everybody else.

‘Arguably, they don’t want to wreck it for everybody else. They are just not bright enough to see their individual actions are spoiling it for others.’