Sheffield Wednesday fan who ran onto pitch during Bolton Wanderers match to hug player spared football ban

A Sheffield Wednesday supporter who ran onto the pitch during a Bolton Wanderers match to hug a player has been spared from a football ban.

Friday, 27th May 2022, 3:42 pm

Wigan and Leigh Magistrates Court heard how Lee Merry, of Sunnybank Crescent, Rotherham, had been going to games since he was five years old.

But when his team faced Bolton Wanderers in April this year, the 30-year-old got carried away, ran from his seating area and hugged a player following a goal.

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A Sheffield Wednesday fan has been spared from a football ban for running onto the pitch at University of Bolton Stadium and hugging players after a goal. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

At court on May 25, he admitted an offence of entering the playing area, and was facing a three-year-ban from watching the team he loves.

The Bolton News reported how Munaza Hussain, prosecuting, said: “Footage shows the defendant on the pitch hugging a number of players who had just scored a goal.

“It was 66 minutes into the match.

“The nature of this application is reference to prevention of future risks.”

Catherine Lloyd, defending, said Merry would suffer if a ban were imposed.

That would include a ban from entering any town where Sheffield Wednesday were playing an away game, as well as being forced to surrender his passport when England are playing away, even though he has never been to watch his country play.

The chairman of the bench, Christopher Duckett, opted not to impose a ban, saying there was no violent behaviour, it was an isolated incident that did not escalate and he had not been in trouble before.

Merry was fined £500 and was ordered to pay a further £135 in costs.