Police chief's warning to football fans after two Sunderland supporters are given three-year bans from games

Niall Allan (left) and Ryan Quinn.
Niall Allan (left) and Ryan Quinn.

A police chief has warned football fans that bad behaviour "will not be tolerated" after two Sunderland supporters were given three-year bans for their part in disorder which marred the Black Cats' friendly against Celtic last year.

Ryan Quinn, 33, and Niall Allan, 30, were found to have incited opposition supporters before the game at the Stadium of Light in July 2017.

Chief superintendent Sarah Pitt, of Northumbria Police.

Chief superintendent Sarah Pitt, of Northumbria Police.

Both men were given three-year bans from attending matches following a hearing at Sunderland Magistrates' Court.

The pair are now banned from attending any regulated football match in the UK until 2021 – which includes Premier League, Championship, League One, League Two and Conference fixtures.

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

Chief Superintendent Sarah Pitt of Northumbria Police said: “Quinn and Allan’s behaviour that day was totally unacceptable and will not be tolerated.

"Now they must realise the consequences of their actions, and are banned from every football stadium in the UK for the next three years.

“I hope these banning orders act as a lesson to any supporter who incites opposition fans and causes trouble on matchdays.

“I would like to warn fans that banning orders not only prevent you from watching regulated football matches in the UK for a fixed period, but can also 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 such in recent years, our fans across Northumbria have worked very closely with police and partners, and that positive relationship has continued throughout the 2018/19 season so far.

“While the overwhelming majority of football fans across our region behave responsibly, this is a reminder that anybody who does involve themselves in violence and disorder will be punished accordingly."

The civil hearing was told a large group of Sunderland fans confronted Celtic supporters who were congregated outside the Deaf Centre in North Bridge Street and The Wheatsheaf pub, in Roker Avenue, shortly before 2pm on July 29 last year.

Police were also called to disorder between supporters at The Howard Arms, in Roker Avenue, during the match.

An investigation was subsequently launched and those responsible identified.

Northumbria Police then made an application to the court for a civil football banning order.

In total, 26 people have been handed football banning orders as a result of the disorder.

Quinn, of Townsend Road, Thorney Close, and Allan, of Crummock Avenue, Seaburn, both contested the banning order applications made against them.