Thug banned for match attack

A FOOTBALL thug has been banned from matches for three years after punching fellow Wolves fans during his team's 3-0 demolition by Ipswich at Portman Road.

A FOOTBALL thug has been banned from matches for three years after punching fellow Wolves fans during his team's 3-0 demolition by Ipswich at Portman Road.

Wolverhampton Wanderers' fan Gareth Evans, pleaded guilty to punching three members of the same family after a dispute at Ipswich's home game against the midlands team on October 27.

Ipswich romped to an easy victory in the game with goals from Alan Lee, Pablo Counago and Danny Haynes.

District Judge David Cooper, sitting at South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court, said 30-year-old Evans was sitting behind Dennis Dyke and his sons Andrew and Adam in the away stand at Portman Road when banter began about the distance a shot was taken from.

Judge Cooper said: “A comment was made by someone about a player taking a shot from 40 yards and the Dyke family thought it was Evans.

“The shot was then taken from 24 yards and Evans made a comment about it to the family in front.”

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The court heard that Evans, who admitted having drunk three pints of beer, had misunderstood the conversation and had taken offence to something Adam had said so he struck him from behind.

Evans then punched Adam's brother in the mouth and their father on the nose before being arrested.

Mark Holt, mitigating against the three charges of common assault, said Evans had become “frustrated” and had pushed forward at the men and then become confused when his glasses were knocked off.

He said Evans, of Cotswold Road, High Green, Staffordshire was a TNT delivery driver of previous good character who was saving to buy a house with his partner and their young daughter.

Judge Cooper banned Evans from attending any regulated football match for three years and fined him £750. He was also told to pay each of the men £100 compensation and £80 towards legal costs.

Evans, who holds a Wolves' season ticket said he would be heartbroken not to follow his team for three years.

Judge Cooper said: “It all seems deeply unfortunate to me that you have a dispute with your own supporters about a comment.”

He said Evans could appeal against the football ban order after two years and was likely to have the three year minimum ban reduced to two years if he did this.

What do you think of this court case? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

Whose shot from range caused the commotion?

Freddie Eastwood? The ex-Southend striker is Wolves' top scorer with four goals.

Jay Bothroyd? Bothroyd, a former England under-21 international, has banged in three goals this season.

Andrew Keogh? The £600,000 man has found goals hard to come by - but is known to attempt the spectacular.

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