Bans for football thugs after platform brawl

Tube2CL''John Vernon - issued with football banning order
Tube2CL''John Vernon - issued with football banning order
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TWO South Yorkshire football fans involved in a mass brawl at a London Tube station after a game have been banned from attending any more matches for three years.

The men, from Rotherham, received their football banning orders at Blackfriars Crown Court following a fight in May last year when they travelled to London to watch Rotherham United play Dagenham and Redbridge in the League Two play-off final at Wembley.

Craig Rockett, aged 33, of Pepper Close, Kimberworth Park and John Vernon, 26, of Badsley Moor Lane, Herringthorpe, both pleaded guilty to a public order offence and were given four month prison sentences, suspended for 12 months.

They were also sentenced to 100 hours community service and ordered to pay costs of £200.

Six other South Yorkshire men were also sentenced for their parts.

Daniel Dix, aged 31, of Fenton Way, Greasbrough, Rotherham, pleaded guilty to a public order offence and was sentenced to four months’ imprisonment, suspended for 12 months, 100 hours of community service and £200 costs.

John Sheridan, 21, of Cliff Way, Denaby Doncaster, was given the same sentence after pleading guilty to affray.

Ricky Nodder, 25, of Parkstone Crescent, Hellaby, Rotherham; Ian McAlister, 23, of Moordale View, Rawmarsh, Rotherham; Thomas Smith, 23, of Coronation Road, Rotherham, and Ben Pankovics, 20, of Cowper Road, Mexborough, were all sentenced to 100 hour community service orders and £200 costs after pleading guilty to a public order offence.

The court heard the eight men boarded a Metropolitan line train at Baker Street station heading towards King’s Cross after the match and became rowdy and started chanting.

As the train arrived at King’s Cross, a fight broke out between the group and other supporters which spilled on to the platform.

During the brawl, bottles were thrown at the train and passengers were threatened with violence.

British Transport Police and South Yorkshire Police identified the men after their actions were captured on CCTV.

Detective Sergeant Ant Jones, of British Transport Police, said: “This was unnecessary violence which caused a great deal of distress and fear for passengers who were simply on the Tube and ran into these men.

“The majority of football supporters are well-behaved and support their team in good spirits. However, the behaviour of individuals such as these only serves to ruin a good day of sport and brings the game into disrepute.”

n Ben Waddington, 20, of Meadowhall Road, Blackburn, Rotherham, is being hunted by police after failing to turn up at court for the hearing.