Father and son Ipswich Town fans Warren and Owen Thomas get long bans after pitch invasion at Carrow Road
PUBLISHED: 08:22 12 April 2017 | UPDATED: 15:04 12 April 2017
Father and son Ipswich Town fans Warren and Owen Thomas have both received long bans from football matches after invading the pitch during a Carrow Road derby.
Norwich Magistrates was told that one of them was heard to say: “We’ll never forget this” as they clambered over the fence and onto the pitch in celebration after visiting defender Jonas Knudsen scored a header against Norwich City in the February 26 match.
And the proclamation proved truer than they could have imagined.
Not only were they collared by police and match stewards, but Warren broke his ankle and is still in a wheelchair because of it.
Warren, 51, and Owen, 26, both of Colchester Road, Ipswich, were sentenced at Norwich Magistrates’ Court today (Tuesday, April 11) after pleading guilty to the charge of going on to the playing area at a football match.
District judge Nick Watson fined Warren £230 and Owen £350, and they also each have to pay £85 in costs, and a victim surcharge - £30 for Warren and £35 for Owen.
Owen was also barred from any regulated football match in England or Wales for three years and Warren for four years, as he had a number of previous offences.
The ban is more specific for Ipswich matches, and they are barred from entering an exclusion zone around Portman Road for four hours before and after home games.
Mr Watson said that while some may have considered the act high-spirited: “Jocular or not, a person who is willing to go onto a pitch under those circumstances must have known it wouldn’t be taken as a joke.
“The stewards were seen struggling to keep Owen under control. The police had to handcuff Owen and described him at the time as ‘uncompliant’.”
Jamie Plummer, defending, said the pair were “thoroughly ashamed” of their actions, having been swept up in the excitement of the game.
He said: “I think the moment just got too much for them.”
Warren and Owen, who were sitting in the visitors’ section in the Jarrold Stand, were among a larger group that surged forwards towards the pitch after Knudsen’s goal.
In issuing the ban, Mr Watson said he had to decide whether it would help to prevent violence or disorder at future matches, which he considered it would.