Two brothers who ran onto the Stadium of Light pitch when Sunderland guaranteed Premier League survival should be banned from future games, say Echo readers.
Ben and Alan Appleby were among a number of people alleged to have entered the field of play as the final whistle was blown after SAFC’s 3-0 win over Everton on Wednesday.
The pair say “emotion got the better of us” and hope magistrates will not impose a football banning order.
But the majority of people voting on the Echo’s website say the brothers should get their marching orders.
Almost 800 people voted, with 61 per cent answering ‘yes’ to the question: “Should the brothers who invaded the pitch after Sunderland’s survival victory be banned from matches?”
The reaction to the pair was more sympathetic on the Echo’s Facebook page, with many posters arguing they should be forgiven for letting the occasion get the better of them.
Here is a selection of the reaction:
Superk said: “It’s completely bonkers. Recognise for what it is, euphoria at staying up relegating your rivals in the process. It’s a snapshot in what’s wrong in this country today. Politically correct nonsense gone mad. For heaven’s sake it’s the last home game of the season and tradition. It’s criminalising football supporters-wouldn’t do it to those very nice chaps in rugby eh!”
Marcus Black wrote: “So let me get this straight. In a moment of euphoria, a few lads ran on the pitch to celebrate? They broke the rule of not entering a football pitch. So are the courts banning Burnley, Middlesbrough, etc. fans and punishing all previous events where the same has happened?”
Thing Fish commented: “There was a full blown pitch invasion at Boro. It’s hardly worthy of any ban. I like the idea of community service starting with litter picking after the game.”
Ozzyal wrote: “Over the top. I seem to remember boro supporters all over the pitch when they got promoted and not a whisper.”
Kiwi Black Cat wrote: “Their punishment should be that they are made to go and watch all home games for the Mags next season.”
Mick Themackem said: “Throw the book at them. They deserve it.”
davylad said: “Ban them all for life, it’s because of morons like these that fences were erected back in the 70’s/80’s and everyone knows how that turned out.”