Football hooligan who attacked Sheffield Wednesday keeper has ban lifted

Chris Kirkland was attacked by Aaron Cawley

Chris Kirkland was attacked by Aaron Cawley

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A football hooligan who attacked a Sheffield Wednesday goalkeeper has had a six year football banning order lifted.

Aaron Cawley, aged 25, applied for the ban to be lifted during a hearing a Sheffield Magistrates' Court.

He was banned from all matches in England and prevented from travelling abroad to watch the national side for six years after attacking the then Sheffield Wednesday goalkeeper, Chris Kirkland, during a televised game in 2012.

The Leeds United supporter ran onto the pitch and slapped the goalkeeper during a game in which other Leeds fans ripped up seats and advertising display hoardings in the ground.

But in line with legislation, Cawley recently applied for the banning order to be lifted after serving two thirds of the ban without being arrested for any other football related matter.

Magistrates lifted the ban but it has now emerged that they were not informed that Cawley was involved in a fight in Austria after taking advantage of a loophole which allowed him to travel abroad to watch a Leeds friendly.

He was captured on camera fighting at the game against German side Eintracht Frankfurt in July and images of him appeared in a national newspaper.

Cawley, who is still banned for life from all Leeds games, is at the centre of a new probe today after he was captured on TV cameras celebrating a Leeds away goal at Norwich's Carrow Road ground last weekend.

He was seen jumping on Leeds striker Pontus Jansson after he scored and jumped over hoardings to celebrate with fans.

A Leeds spokesman said: "Mr Cawley did not purchase a ticket from Leeds United. He remains banned from Leeds games for life.

"The club will conduct an investigation into how he acquired his ticket."

A South Yorkshire Police spokeswoman said: "The ban was lifted by Sheffield Magistrates Court on application by Mr Cawley. This is in line with current legislation.

"As Mr Cawley is a Leeds United Fan and does not follow any South Yorkshire clubs, South Yorkshire Police liaised with the football officer at West Yorkshire Police in order to assess if there was any information to support opposing his application.

"Following this consultation, the application was not opposed."

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