Hartlepool United fan facing ban for invading pitch during Exeter FA Cup win

A young football fan attending his first ever match landed himself in court after getting over-excited and running on the pitch.

Sunday, 26th January 2020, 8:00 am
Updated Monday, 27th January 2020, 10:57 am

Jack Hanley, 20, celebrated Hartlepool United scoring an extra time winner against Exeter last month by invading the Victoria Park turf.

He now faces a possible Football Banning Order that would prevent him attending games for at least three years.

Teesside Magistrates Court heard Hanley, who has no previous convictions, had been drinking when he attended the evening FA Cup match on Tuesday, December 10.

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Victoria Park.
Victoria Park.

Joanne Hesse, prosecuting, said: “In interview he says he has gone to his first ever football match.

“When Hartlepool scored a goal he has got excited, jumped up over the barriers and entered the playing area of the pitch, running across in front of 69 away fans from Exeter.

“He was detained by stewards and when interviewed explained he had been drinking, attended the game with some friends and when they scored just got excited.”

The win sent Pools through to the third round of the cup.

Hartlepool Unied won the FA Cup second round replay 1-0 against Exeter with a goal in extra time. Picture by FRANK REID

Hanley, of Breward Walk, Hartlepool, who pleaded guilty, added he did not know it was an offence to go onto the pitch as he did not normally go to matches.

Representing himself in court he said: “I was stupid to do it. I didn’t mean to cause no trouble.”

Magistrates gave him a six-month conditional discharge and was ordered to pay £85 costs and a £26 surcharge.

Chairman of the magistrates’ bench David Gee said: “It’s because you have not been in trouble before and your explanation you had a drink and it was a silly thing to do.”

But Hanley will have to return to court next month when the prosecution apply for a Football Banning Order.

Hartlepool United issued the following reminder to fans to stay off the pitch.

A spokesman said: “We remind all supporters that encroaching on to the playing surface at any time is an offence and by doing so you are not only risking punishment for the Club but also for yourself.

“We thank all fans for their co-operation as we continue to ensure that Victoria Park is a safe and welcoming environment for players and spectators alike.”