Fans banned from attending football matches after storming the pitch in ‘pure joy’ in 3-2 comeback


Two Hartlepool fans have been slapped with football banning orders after they invaded the ground at Victoria Park.

Joe Mcleod, 20, and Cullen Coulson, 24, ran onto the grass to celebrate Hartlepool’s 3-2 victory over Harrogate Town. Teesside Magistrates’ Court heard Pools lost 2-0 in the match on October 23 last year but managed to equalise.

Chasing Saba Shan told the court how Mcleod ran onto the pitch when Hartlepool scored his second goal. She said: “He punched the air several times while watching the supporters outside.” Ms Shan said when Hartlepool scored their third goal, Mcleod and Coulson both ran onto the playing area.

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Middlesbrough Court heard how Mcleod punched the air several times as Coulson waved to fans outside, before they ran back into the crowd. Mcleod, of Northgate, Hartlepool, and Coulton, of Heugh Chare, Hartlepool, both pleaded guilty to going onto the playing field during a football match.

District Judge Marie Mallon said applications have been filed for a football restraining order for Mcleod and Coulson. She asked the two defendants, who were not represented in court, what they had to say about the offence.

Mcleod told him: “When I went on the pitch I had nothing to do with violence, it was just pure joy. I wasn’t making gestures towards their fans or swearing or anything. either like. I think it says in a witness statement that I grabbed someone’s face and kissed them. I don’t think you do that when you’re trying to riot.

When District Judge Mallon asked him, “Well, you can have the whole party in the stands, can’t you?” he replied, “Of course”. The defendant, who has just completed a plumbing apprenticeship, added: ‘I’ve been going to Pools for years, not just jumping on the band wagon.

Coulson apologized to the court for his actions, saying it was “joy” and he was not trying to incite violence. He told District Judge Mallon that he had been watching Hartlepool for years and had gone to the games with his 11-year-old brother.

The defendant, who has just had a baby and works for a building materials dealer, said: “It was silly, it was a momentary mistake where we got a little excited. Now I can only excuse me.”

District Judge Mallon issued them both with a football ban order for a minimum of three years. She said: “Although I take into account that you were motivated by your joy, you entered the playing area, which is unacceptable and very likely to incite further violence or unrest in matches. soccer.”

Mcleod and Coulton were also fined £200 each and ordered to pay £85 in costs and an additional £34.

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