Derby-day yob hit with three-year stadium ban after goading rival fans before Sunderland’s victory over Newcastle

Vincent Brand, 47, of Torver Crescent, Seaburn Dene.
Vincent Brand, 47, of Torver Crescent, Seaburn Dene.
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A football supporter has been banned from games for three years and three other faces similar action after causing trouble on derby day.

Trouble flared on the day Sunderland beat Newcastle United 3-0 at the Stadium of Light on Sunday, October 25.

Callum Downey, 24, of Edward Burdis Street, Sunderland.

Callum Downey, 24, of Edward Burdis Street, Sunderland.

Four of those arrested found themselves before magistrates yesterday, admitting a string of offences including pitch invasion and drunken behaviour.

Back Cats supporter Vincent Brand, 47, was made subject to a three-year football banning order after pleading guilty to being drunk and disorderly in Hay Street, Sheepfolds, prior to the match.

Prosecutor John McGlone told Sunderland Magistrates’ Court Brand had tried to goad group of Newcastle supporters into a fight with rival fans.

Magistrates heard Brand, of Torver Crescent, Seaburn Dene, had been jumping up and down and waving his arm, shouting “Howay gaan on”. “He hadn’t quite anticipated that his actions could have caused a great deal of disruption,” defence solicitor Iain Jordan said.

We find it sad that a gentleman of your character who has not been in trouble for many, many years finds himself back in court

Bench chairman John Price

Also in court were fellow Sunderland fans Stephen Green, 36, and Callum Downey, 24, who both admitted going on to the Stadium of Light pitch during the game.

The court heard how Green was one of a group of fans to invade the pitch after the third goal.

While most were allowed to go back to their seats, he was arrested and put in a cell.

Tom Morgan, defending, said: “this man has been attending organised football games in Sunderland for over 20 years. This is the first time he finds himself before the court for a football-related offence.”

Mr Morgan said Green would oppose the application for a banning order, adding: “It was a very heavily charged environment emotionally and this is a man who has supported his teem his entire life.”

Green, of Midhurst Close, and Downey, of Edward Burdis Street, both Sunderland, will now have to wait until December 4 to find out if they will be banned from attending games.

Both face football banning orders, which will be contested during hearings at Sunderland Magistrates Court.

Newcastle fan Sarah Elliot, 38, of Woods Terrace North, Murton, pleaded guilty to being drunk within the stadium.

She too faces a football banning order application from prosecutors on December 4.

Her solicitor Sunny Thandi said: “The defendant is of previous good character.”

‘He accepts he is guilty of being disorderly’

Labourer Vincent Brand had managed to stay out of trouble for 18 years prior to the Wear-Tyne derby in October.

Because of his behaviour last month, the married father of grown-up children has been banned from watching his beloved Sunderland AFC for three years. “Mr Brand was last before a court in 1997 and it is regrettable that he appears before you today,” said Iain Jordan, defending. “He accepts he consumed drink and is guilty of being disorderly.”

Bench chairman John Price said: “We’ve heard this morning of the circumstances of this incident and we find it sad that a gentleman of your character who has not been in trouble for many, many years finds himself back in court.”

Mr Jordan said the crown’s application for a football banning order would not be opposed, provided he could still visits his parents, who live within an exclusion zone which would be imposed around the Stadium of Light. Mr Jordan said Brand visits his mother, who suffers from Parkinson’s disease and his father, who has had a stroke, on a daily basis to care for them. He was also fined £40 and was told to pay £75 costs, £150 criminal courts charge and £20 victim surcharge.