St Albans City fan banned for throwing smoke bomb onto pitch in Hemel clash
PUBLISHED: 06:00 19 January 2017
Lobbing a blue smoke bomb onto the pitch near to St Albans City FC players has resulted in a football fan being slapped with a ban from future fixtures.
Club officials were left fuming, and the man’s fellow fans were unimpressed, after he threw the device onto the playing surface at Vauxhall Road at about 3pm last Saturday (14).
Herts Police are investigating the incident that occurred during the Herts derby between St Albans City and Hemel Hempstead Town FC, which resulted in a 2-2 draw.
A spokesman for the Saints told the Herts Advertiser: “It happened as the players were coming onto the pitch, near the away end – fans were segregated. Some of our supporters were annoyed as they are aware of the possible implications.”
Photos provided to this paper show a fan holding a blue smoke bomb. A yellow smoke bomb was also thrown onto the field.
Although no-one was injured, the team has acted swiftly to reprimand the fan.
According to a letter seen by this paper, he has been issued with a banning order after he and his son were “identified as setting off and throwing pyrotechnic devices onto the playing surface at Vauxhall Road”.
St Albans City FC board has banned both from attending all home games at Clarence Park with immediate effect.
The order is in place for the remainder of the 2016/17 and the whole of the 2017/18 seasons.
Should either attempt to enter any home game, they will be ejected and the police will be called.
The banning order said that the club took the safety of its supporters and employees “very seriously and will not tolerate any form of pyrotechnic devices being used at any home or away game and will take all appropriate action it feels necessary to protect their safety.
“It is an offence under the Sporting Events Act 1985 for a person to enter or attempt to enter a football ground while in possession of a flare, smoke bomb or firework.
“It is also an offence under the Football (Offences) Act 1991 to throw a missile onto the playing area or into the crowd.”
Saints officials are fuming as they fear a fine from the Football Association as a result of his actions. They warned him: “Should this happen, the club may take action against you to recover the amount of the fine.”
He has seven days to appeal against the banning order.
In a further statement to this paper, a Saints spokesman said: “Since the current owners took over the club over six years ago, it has built a reputation as the leading community sports club in the district, providing education, coaching and employment opportunities to a wide cross-section of the community.
“The club takes the safety and enjoyment of all spectators very seriously and will not tolerate anti-social behaviour of any sort, from anyone. The individuals have been written to and appropriate and immediate action has been taken.”
The Herts Advertiser was unable to contact the spectator for comment. However a spokesman for Harvesters Football Club (HFC) has confirmed that as a result of the incident the man, who is involved in the club, immediately offered his “unreserved apology together with his resignation from his official position within HFC.
“HFC expects the highest level of behaviour from everyone connected with the club and on this occasion this standard was not met.”