Wednesday 21 February 2024
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Nottingham

Three-year football banning orders for Forest fans who took flares into stadium

Police have warned people about the consequences of taking pyrotechnics into stadiums after two football fans appeared in court.

Andrew Chambers and Bradley Lilliman set off smoke bombs during the FA Youth Cup Final between Nottingham Forest and Manchester United.

The pair’s actions at Old Trafford on 11 May 2022 saw them both later charged with possession of a flare at a sporting event.

Having pleaded guilty to the charge, Chambers, 55, and Lilliman, 18, were both handed three-year football banning orders at Manchester Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday (28 June).

Chambers, of Shirland Drive, Mansfield, was ordered to pay costs of £107.

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Lilliman, of Victoria Street, Newark, was also ordered to pay a surcharge of £22.

Inspector Craig Berry, of Nottinghamshire Police’s football unit, said: “A new European inspired culture appears to be emerging within football supporters across the country, where setting off of pyrotechnics inside football grounds is seen as acceptable and normal.

“While most will not have any ulterior motives other than the belief they are creating or contributing to the atmosphere inside the ground, it is important that people realise that letting off these devices inside stadiums is illegal for a reason.

“Smoke bombs can be dangerous, both for those who are carrying them and those in the close vicinity when they’re activated.

“As these supporters have found out to their cost, smuggling these items into grounds is a criminal offence that can lead to a football banning order of up to five years.

“The message is clear – such devices are dangerous and are not welcome within football stadiums.”

Alan Bexon, Head of Operations at Nottingham Forest, added: “Sadly we have seen an increase in the usage of pyrotechnics within stadiums from supporters and we have had several incidents as a result of their usage.

“Other fans have suffered breathing difficulties and one young fan had such a device land in his hood which, as you can imagine, was alarming for both him and his family.

“As a club we take a strong stance on the illegal usage of pyrotechnics and feel it is right that these offenders have received football banning orders.”

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