Derbyshire police who have been battling to stamp out a growing yob element at Chesterfield FC revealed the club has also banned 30 fans in its efforts to stop pitch invasions.
Police Constable Allan Guy highlighted the difficulties during a Chesterfield magistrates’ court hearing today, Tuesday, February 27, where Spireite fan Tyler Bonson, 18, was given a football banning order for his part in a pitch invasion and for using threatening behaviour.
Pc Guy said: “Chesterfield are having massive issues with the youth element causing problems at fixtures. Mainly at home fixtures but they have been seen at away fixtures.
“We have got youngsters as young as 15 causing issues and trying to engage in disorder at fixtures and drinking heavily and Bonson is part of that group.”
Pc Guy claimed that these youngsters are also attaching themselves to the club’s hooligan element - known as the Chesterfield Bastard Squad - but Bonson denied any involvement with the group.
Police have dealt with over 20 youngsters by way of youth-engagement, according to Pc Guy, and Chesterfield FC has also banned 30 people after problems with pitch invasions.
Bonson, of London Street, New Whittington, Chesterfield, admitted going on the pitch at the Proact stadium, at Whittington Moor, after a late equaliser in the controversial home game against Ebbsfleet in January, in the National League.
He was also accused of spitting towards the Ebbsfleet goalkeeper and in a separate incident at a home match against Wrexham in October he was caught using rude hand gestures.
Bonson pleaded guilty to invading the pitch and admitted two counts of threatening behaviour.
Magistrates ordered him to pay £383 in fines, a victim surcharge and costs. He was also given a three-year football banning order.
The court also heard during a separate hearing on Monday, February 26, how two more Chesterfield FC fans have been brought to justice following the pitch invasion during the Ebbsfleet match.
Ashley Billyeald, 25, of Cedar Street, Hollingwood, Chesterfield, admitted invading the pitch and admitted threatening behaviour after he was involved in a confrontation with the Ebbsfleet goalkeeper Nathan Ashmore.
Reece Marr, 23, of no fixed abode, also admitted going on the pitch as fans celebrated Chesterfield FC’s equaliser.
Prosecuting solicitor John Cooper told the February 26 hearing the Ebbsfleet goalkeeper had been subjected to abuse from fans and they had accused him of time-wasting.
Mr Cooper said that when Chesterfield FC equalised fans ran on the pitch and Billyeald was seen standing over Mr Ashmore and pointing at him before Mr Ashmore took him by the coat and pulled him to the ground.
The court heard the Ebbsfleet goalkeeper had been highlighted as a potential concern after reported problems at two of his team’s matches following claims he had been racially abused.
Mr Cooper said Marr was seen running behind the goal towards the Chesterfield players during the Ebbsfleet match.
Defence solicitor Kevin Tomlinson said Billyeald has apologised to Chesterfield FC and the club has banned him from matches for ten years.
Mr Tomlinson added that Mr Ashmore was already on the ground having tried to stop the equalizer and there was no physical contact until the goalkeeper took hold of Billyeald and threw him to the back of the net.
Defence solicitor Ben Strelley, representing Marr, said there were a large number of people involved in the pitch invasion and the majority including Marr were celebrating the equaliser.
He said: “When the Derbyshire Times ran the story of the match the Chesterfield players were celebrating with a number of fans and Mr Marr was jumping high off the ground with a large smile on his face.”
Marr, who has previous convictions, was fined £80 and ordered to pay £85 costs and an £85 victim surcharge. He was also ordered to complete 40 hours of unpaid work to mark the breach of a suspended prison sentence order.
However, Marr is contesting an application to impose a football banning order and this matter will be considered at a further hearing on March 8.
Billyeald’s case was further adjourned until Friday, March 1, to consider a probation report before sentencing but the court heard is not contesting any plan to impose a football banning order.