Drunk Sheffield Wednesday fan fined after arrest at Sunderland AFC play-off game at Stadium of Light

A drunk football fan scored an own goal when he got into an argument with stewards at a crucial Sunderland home game at the Stadium of Light.

Sheffield Wednesday supporter Josh Bunting, 36, found himself arrested for the bang-on 7.45pm kick off time incident – and missed the match.

Bunting, of Rivlin Road, Walkley Bank, Sheffield, had travelled to Wearside for the first leg of the League One play-off semi-final, which the Black Cats won 1-0.

But he got into a verbal spat and police were forced to intervene on Friday, May 6, South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court was told.

The Stadium of Light.

He has now been fined for the offence but escaped a football banning order after magistrates heard it was the site manager's first criminal conviction or caution.

Prosecutor Paul Anderson said: “It’s a straightforward matter. It was Sunderland’s game against Sheffield Wednesday.

“Police became aware of a disturbance in tier 3, where the Sheffield Wednesday fans were.

“He was identified by stewards, and they say that they had had difficulties with him previously. He was drunk and showing all the signs of being drunk.

“It’s zero policy of people being drunk in grounds. He no doubt missed the match, it was 7.45pm. He spent time in the cells.

“He is of previous good character and has had to travel from Sheffield today.

“The police haven’t lodged a football banning order but it’s up to the court, in line with the legislation.”

Bunting pleaded guilty to being drunk in a sports ground contrary to the Sporting Events (Control of Alcohol) Act 1985.

Michelle Stonley, defending, said: “He’s 36 years of age and as you’ve heard, he has no previous convictions, cautions or warnings.

“He was not fighting, he had been drinking that day, as had many others. He accepts that he was having words with a steward when police arrived.

“He does wish me to apologise on his behalf. He did spend some time in the cells, and he missed the match.

“I ask that you don’t impose a football banning order.”

Magistrates declined to impose an order but fined Bunting £233, with £85 court costs and a £34 victim surcharge.