Football fan banned from attending matches after racist monkey chants
He received a three-year football banning order
A racist football fan who made monkey gestures towards a rival supporter has been banned from attending any games in the UK for three years.
Neil Grainger, 36, was seen making offensive hand movements during a Championship match between West Bromwich Albion and Birmingham City.
Grainger - a Baggies fan - made the offensive gesture while sitting in the home stand during West Brom's 1-0 win over their Midlands rivals on October 15 last year.
Another fan saw what Grainger was doing and reported him to a police officer who arrested him.
Convicted of a racially aggravated public order offence
Grainger, of Cheslyn Hay, Staffs, was convicted of a racially aggravated public order offence after a trial at Dudley Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday (March 30).
He received a three-year football banning order, forbidding him from attending any match across the UK until March 2025.
He was also handed a fine and court costs totalling almost £1,500.
A Baggies fan, who made racist monkey gestures at a WestMids derby, has been banned from any game for 3 years. Neil Grainger from Cheslyn Hay was seen making the hand movements at the @WBA v @BCFC match in October. #CapitalReports pic.twitter.com/wEiSR2hl93
— Capital Midlands News (@CapitalMidsNews) March 31, 2022
'These were appalling and very offensive actions' - PC Stuart Ward
PC Stuart Ward, West Midlands Police football hate crime officer, said: "These were appalling and very offensive actions which have no place within football or society in general.
"The supporter who witnessed this did exactly the right thing in reporting it, as it helped us secure a criminal conviction against Grainger.
"The supporter told us they felt disgusted and ashamed anyone could do this at a match, and it's a view I'm sure proper football fans will share.
"This conviction not only tarnishes Grainger's reputation but can impact on employment and travel in future.
"He's also lost a hobby in not being able to attend football games.
"It was clear during the pandemic how much football fans missed being at a live game with friends or family.
"Now through his own highly offensive actions he must miss out again for another three years."
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