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A 35-year-old Northampton Town fan has been handed a three-year football banning order after invading the pitch to celebrate his team’s late equaliser.
Robert Starmer of Dimock Square, Northampton, travelled to Nottinghamshire on Boxing Day (Monday, December 26) to watch the EFL League Two fixture between Mansfield Town and the Cobblers at One Call Stadium.
As the game headed towards full-time, Northampton Town scored a late equaliser in the 88th minute to secure a point, prompting Starmer to climb over advertising boardings and run on to the pitch.
Once on the pitch, Starmer waved his arms and goaded the home fans before running towards the Northampton players, who were celebrating in front of the Cobblers travelling support, housed in the away stand.
He was arrested by a Nottinghamshire Police officer at the stadium and subsequently charged with the offence of going onto the playing area, without lawful authority or lawful excuse, under the Football (offences) Act 1991.
On Wednesday, January 11, Starmer pleaded guilty at Mansfield Magistrates’ Court and was handed the three-year football banning order, fined £300 and ordered to pay £85 costs and £120 victim surcharge.
Football Liaison Officer for Northamptonshire Police, PC Chris Brooks-Payne, said: “The majority of Northampton Town fans and other supporters can celebrate their team scoring by staying off the pitch and respecting the workspace of the players and officials.
“Starmer proved over the last couple of seasons that he struggles with this despite knowing the law. This ban will hopefully give him time to reflect on this behaviour at games as well as be a deterrent to others who consider invading the pitch.
“We want everyone, including players and officials, attending matches to enjoy the beautiful game in a safe and enjoyable environment, and we will continue to work with our colleagues from other forces and the county’s football clubs to ensure this happens.”
As a result of his actions, Starmer is banned from attending Northampton Town and England matches for the next three years. He must also not enter Northampton town centre on match days, except for business or family reasons, for four hours before and after kick-off.