Plymouth fan who hurled racist abuse at Portsmouth players gets three-year football ban

A PLYMOUTH fan who hurled racist abuse at Portsmouth players has been banned from all football grounds for three years.

Monday, 15th July 2019, 4:27 pm
Updated Tuesday, 16th July 2019, 1:02 pm
Pompey played Plymouth Argyle away in February. Picture: Joe Pepler

Lewis Graham, 25, from Belgrave Road, Torquay, appeared at Plymouth Magistrates’ Court on Thursday, July 11, charged with using racially aggravated threatening or abusive words or behaviour.

The incident had taken place on February 9, when Graham yelled ‘you black c***’ at Portsmouth players during the second half of their 1-1 draw at Home Park, it has been reported.

Nearby Argyle fans heard him swear at players and the referee. Both Omar Bogle and Nathan Thompson played for Portsmouth on the day.

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Pompey played Plymouth Argyle away in February. Picture: Joe Pepler

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Pompey’s chief executive Mark Catlin said racial abuse said: ‘Regardless of whether it’s aimed at fans or players, it’s awful and we’re working hard to eradicate it from the game.

‘The players try to blank out the abuse they hear, but just because they’re being resilient doesn’t mean there’s an excuse for anyone screaming abuse from the stands.

‘Every player is affected differently by the obscenities they hear while they’re out on the pitch.

‘It’s a shame that things like this continue to happen, but it’s also important to remember that this fan isn’t representative of Plymouth Argyle as a whole.

‘The majority of fans are trying to cleanse this sort of behaviour from the game – most have absolutely no time for it – but there are always one or two mindless individuals.’

Appearing in court dad-of-two Graham pleaded guilty and received a fine of £320, £50 victim surcharge and £85 costs.

He also received a Football Banning Order for three years, banning him from all professional matches, both in the UK and overseas. He cannot enter the Home Park area before and after games.

Sgt Ben Robillard of Devon, Dorset and Cornwall Police’s football unit, said: ‘This type of behaviour will not be tolerated at football matches and rest assured that we will act swiftly and firmly against any individual or group who feels that this behaviour is acceptable.’