Whites fans banned over derby stunt
TWO Bolton Wanderers fans involved in unfurling a club banner after being let into an enclosure among rival fans at a derby match have been banned from games for three years.
Magistrates heard that Blackburn Rovers supporters reacted angrily to the unfurling of the banner by a group of Bolton fans during the match at Blackburn in October.
Stewards and police had to protect them.
Ashley Glen Morris, aged 18, of Templecombe Drive, Sharples, and Paul Gatrick, aged 20, of Kirkhope Walk, Halliwell, both pleaded guilty to using threatening behaviour when they appeared before Blackburn magistrates.
They were each given a conditional discharge for 18 months, banned from football matches for three years and ordered to pay £125 costs.
The court was told that they used a "Trojan Horse-style operation" to get among Blackburn supporters inside Ewood Park.
Neil White, prosecuting, said at least one of the Bolton fans, who had already been dealt with, had purchased a Rovers cap before buying tickets for the Riverside Stand. Shortly before the end of the game, which Wanderers won 1-0, the Bolton contingent left their seats and walked down to the concrete area in front of the stand, where the flag was unfurled.
It provoked a violent reaction from the Rovers supporters.
Richard Prew, representing Gatrick, said the person with the flag had not been arrested, and neither had any of the Blackburn fans.
Neither of the defendants opposed the imposition of a football banning order.