Football fan admits assaulting Newcastle United goalkeeper

UK

A football fan has pleaded guilty to assaulting Newcastle United’s goalkeeper during a League Cup quarter-final match against Chelsea.

Jordan Chidley admitted assault by beating and unlawfully going on to a playing area at a football match.

The 25-year-old invaded the pitch at Stamford Bridge on 19 December last year after Chelsea scored an equaliser in the Carabao Cup game.

District judge Neeta Minhas issued a three-year football banning order and fined him £807 at Westminster Magistrates’ Court.

Prosecutor Malachy Pakenham told the court Chidley climbed down on to the pitch after the goal and ran over to goalkeeper Martin Dubravka.

Image:
Newcastle United goalkeeper Martin Dubravka stops a goal during the match on 19 December. Pic: PA

“The steward tries to grab him, he then puts his arms out and grabs and touches the goalie who pulls away from him,” Mr Pakenham said.

The prosecutor told the court the contact was “quite minimal”.

Chidley was later arrested and told police he was the person on the pitch, saying his behaviour was “due to overexuberant celebrations” and the fact Chelsea had scored in the final minutes of the match.

The court heard there is no statement from Dubravka who “appears not to be too alarmed”.

In Chidley’s defence, the court heard what he did was not “malicious” but “it was just euphoria”.

It was said Chidley was “not a football hooligan” and this was a “one-off incident”.

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The judge made reference to the “extremely positive” character references given for Chidley, but told him: “When I’m sentencing you I’m thinking not only about the offence that was committed, but also… I want to send out a message to deter other people from doing something similar.”

Chidley was fined £807, ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £323 and costs of £85 – totalling £1,215.

Managers of both teams spoke out about the incident after the match, with Newcastle’s Eddie Howe saying: “I have always said the safety of the players, coaches, managers, referees, linesmen, that’s the priority in any football match so more has to be done to keep especially irate supporters away from anybody.”

Chelsea boss Mauricio Pochettino said: “It’s a thing that can put in danger the players. It’s always disappointing with this type of thing because it’s dangerous.”

Chelsea won the match on penalties after the game finished 1-1.

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