Pub bans Sunderland football hooligans for life

Alan Wallace, from The Fort public house in Monkwearmouth.
Alan Wallace, from The Fort public house in Monkwearmouth.
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A PUB landlord said he has given a gang of teenagers the red card from his bar after they met there before a large-scale fight.

Four teenagers have already been banned from attending football games for three years after admitting their part in a terrifying pre-match brawl.

Now the landlord of The Fort pub, in Roker, Sunderland, said they are no longer welcome at his boozer after issuing them with a lifetime ban.

Alan Wallace, from Hendon, gave the group their marching orders after hearing about their part in the mass fracas, which took place outside a busy city centre on a Saturday afternoon.

He said: “We found out the same day, but we did not know it was them, but then we found out through social media.

“The police came in the next home game and checked everybody’s ID. But we know they weren’t drinking, because they were police checked.

“As soon as I found out they had been arrested, I said ‘you can’t come back in this bar’. They were fine about it. No problems at all.”

Alan, 45, who took over the pub six years ago, said he was “gutted” to see the venue implicated in the court case.

He added: “We’ve worked hard to turn this pub round from what it was. This bar had a terrible reputation when we took it over.

“It’s taken me six years, but now we have families coming and we’re getting the christenings and weddings in.”

Alan has spent £500 upgrading The Fort’s CCTV system after an inspection by police.

Now the loyal SAFC supporter hopes he has seen an end to football violence.

“It is so 1980s,” he said, “I thought we had got rid of this stage.

“There is no part of it in the community any more.

“Basically, we are a family pub and we don’t want that kind of antisocial behaviour.”

The three 16-year-olds and one 17-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, admitted charges of violent disorder when they appeared in front of Sunderland Youth Court.

The hearing was told trouble flared between rival fans outside Revolution Bar, before the Black Cats took on West Ham at the Stadium of Light on January 12.

Andrew Waters, prosecuting, said the youngsters were part of the Sunderland Youth Firm – which met in The Fort pub.

The three were each made subject to a nine-month referral order and three-year football banning order.

Their parents were ordered to pay £85 towards court costs and a £15 victim surcharge.

THE trial of a football fan accused of making a racist monkey gesture at a Sunderland match was adjourned today.

Liam Edward Jones, of East Vines, Sunderland, was charged following a match at the Stadium of Light against West Brom.

It is alleged the 21-year-old, made a racist gesture against Romelu Lukaku after he scored against the Black Cats in a game West Brom won 4-2 last November.

Jones was arrested after the match and was later charged with racially aggravated harassment, which he denies.

The trial was adjourned until September during a short hearing at Sunderland Magistrates’ Court.

Glenda Beck, prosecuting, said the trial was expected to last a full day.

Angus Westgarth, defending Jones, said he would be calling at least two defence witnesses.

District Judge Marie Mallon granted Jones bail on the conditions he does not contact prosecution witnesses, attend any regulated football matches, or go within 500 metres of St James’s Park or 300m of the Stadium of Light.

Twitter: @janethejourno