Three Sunderland supporters hit with banning orders after violence broke out at Sunderland AFC game at Coventry

Football fans, including three Black Cats supporters, have been banned from stadiums across the country after violence broke out in the aftermath of Sunderland's League One clash at Coventry.

By Poppy Kennedy
Friday, 24 May, 2019, 10:10
Sunderland fans inside the Ricoh Arena ahead of the trouble when the match ended

A police investigation was launched into violence following the League One clash on September 29 last year.

So far, a total of 11 people are found to have been actively involved in the disorder and have subsequently been served with Football Banning Orders equating to a combined 29 years.

Trouble flared as fans left the Ricoh Arena following the lunchtime kick-off, which ended 1-1.

In December , West Midlands Police released images of more than 20 men they wanted to speak to in connection with the disturbance.

Eight of the offenders served with the orders have been identified as Coventry City supporters.

Three Black Cats supporters appeared at Coventry Magistrates’ Court earlier this month charged with public order offences.

Jordan Cherry, 23, of Fieldside, Pelton, was found guilty following a trial and handed a five-year banning order, as well as 200 hours of community service and a £630 fine plus costs.

Paul Feechan, 44, and Jamie Phenny, 27, both pleaded guilty and were handed banning orders until 2022.

Feechan, of Redesdale Road, Sunderland, was ordered to pay £305 plus costs while Phenny, of Mayfield Road, South Hylton, was fined £455 plus costs.

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The trio are now banned from attending all regulated football matches in the UK, which includes Premier League, Championship, League One, League Two and Conference fixtures.

The banning order also prevents them from travelling abroad to watch international friendlies, qualification matches and tournaments.

Football intelligence officer PC Andrea Sadler, of Northumbria Police, said: “While the overwhelming majority of fans who attended this match – and all Sunderland fixtures this season – behaved impeccably, the actions of a minority were totally unacceptable.

“Supporters should also be aware that banning orders can affect your future career prospects as they may be disclosed to potential employers through a vetting process or DBS check.

“I’m proud to say that in recent years, fans across Northumbria have worked very closely with police and partners, and the positive relationship we enjoy with fans has been evident again throughout the 2018/19 season."

Steve Neill, head of safety at Sunderland AFC, added:“Sunderland has one of the largest away followings in the country.

“Throughout the season our fans have supported the team with a huge amount of passion, they have represented the club with the highest standards of behaviour and won plaudits from many grounds they have travelled too.

“It is therefore disappointing when a minority engage in the type of violence seen at the Ricoh Arena last September. We welcome the sentences imposed by the court and hope they act as a deterrent to prevent any future repetition of such behaviour”.