Arsenal fan banned from matches for drunken antics

A FOOTBALL fan has been banned from all Arsenal matches for three years after a court heard that his drunken behaviour repeatedly made life miserable for other Gunners fans.

Tattooed Gary Smith, 44, has been arrested on a number of occasions over the last 18 months for alcohol related anti-social behaviour on match days, including away games at Celtic, Barnet and Wolverhampton.

Things finally reached breaking point on November 30 this year when Smith was stopped by police outside Arsenal Tube station on his way to the Carling Cup quarter final clash with Wigan Athletic. He appeared heavily intoxicated and was seen barging into other football supporters, and was subsequently arrested and charged.

Smith, of Newlife Apartments, Northampton, appeared at Highbury Corner Magistrates Court on Thursday (15) and pleaded guilty to being drunk and disorderly. He was fined �50 and ordered to pay another �15 costs and hit with the football banning order.

Police Constable Dave Walters, Football Intelligence Officer for Islington, said: “Mr Smith’s banning order will come as a great relief to law abiding Arsenal fans. The police received several complaints about his behaviour from his fellow supporters and local licensees.

“The Football Intelligence Unit is actively building similar profiles for all people who come to notice of police on match days. This will include both those involved in football violence and those who behave in an ‘anti-social’ manner. It is a small minority of supporters that attend football and cause problems and it those people that we are targeting and bringing to justice.”

The ban prevents Smith going within two kilometres of Emirates Stadium during a period four hours prior to the kick-off time and four hours after the end of the game.

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He is also banned from entering a town or city inside or outside of the UK where an Arsenal away match is taking place, or the London borough where the game is being played if it is in the capital.