Football fan banned for assaulting player in Chesterfield’s play-off semi-final

Matthew Edwards
Matthew Edwards
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A pitch invader who assaulted a player during Chesterfield’s League One play-off semi-final loss to Preston North End has been banned from watching football for three years.

Matthew Edwards, aged 20, was said to have got ‘carried away’ at the end of the game. CCTV footage captured the apprentice mechanic weaving through fans and grabbing the shoulder of Chesterfield captain Ian Evatt.

When Evatt turned round, a fellow supporter stepped in to drag away Edwards, who, magistrates heard, had wanted to ‘take the mick’ out of the defender who used to play for Preston’s arch-rivals Blackpool.

Edwards then appeared to shout abuse at Evatt, who had to be escorted from the Deepdale pitch for his own safety.

Edwards, of Southern Avenue, Preston, was also fined £135 and ordered to pay costs of £255 after he pleaded guilty at Preston Magistrates’ Court to assault by beating.

Martine Connah, prosecuting, said 33-year-old Evatt was assaulted ‘by at least two people’ and verbally abused by others at the conclusion of the televised match on May 10.

Footage of the incident led to Edwards being identified by a police constable and then arrested the following day.

Miss Connah said the defendant had consumed a pint of lager at a local pub before kick-off and two further bottles of lager in the half-time break of the match.