Two Sunderland fans have been slapped with lengthy banning orders by a judge for their parts in disorder which marred a friendly against Scottish giants Celtic on Wearside.
Niall Allan, 30, and Ryan Quinn, 33, will not be allowed to attend matches for the next three years after they were found to have incited opposition supporters when the Black Cats faced Celtic in July 2017.
Fighting broke out at numerous locations across the city on the day of the game.
Both men contested the banning order applications by Northumbria Police, but the pair were unsuccessful following hearings at Sunderland Magistrates’ Court.
Giving evidence during the hearing, constable Mark Sadler, a police spotter with Northumbria Police’s football intelligence unit, said that Allan had been identified as being part of disorder on the day of the Celtic game when violence broke out in the North Bridge Street area, while he had also been involved in disorder before the Sunderland v Middlesbrough game at the Stadium of Light in August 2016 and before the Black Cats’ trip to Millwall in London in March this year.
In relation to the disorder which broke out when Sunderland supporters confronted Celtic fans who were drinking at the Deaf Centre in North Bridge Street, Pc Sadler said: “Mr Allan can be seen with other risk supporters chanting “God Save the Queen”, which is somewhat inflammatory.”
Allan, of Crummock Avenue, Seaburn, who works as an engineer, was also identified as being outside the Howard Arms, in Roker Avenue, where a man was knocked unconscious.
Steven Reed, representing Northumbria Police, suggested that Allan had been “beckoning” Celtic fans inside the pub to come outside, to which Allan replied: “I never beckoned to anyone on that day.”
Quinn, of Townsend Road, Thorney Close, who was previously convicted following an incident with a Newcastle United fan in April 2015, was identified as being part of disorder on the day of the Celtic game, something which he denied.
Referring to Allan, district judge Roger Elsey told him: “The respondent had ample opportunity to leave the area and to distance himself from the violence.
“On each occasion he remained.”
And to Quinn, Mr Elsey said he had been “antagonising” and “inciting” Celtic supporters on the day of the game when he was in Dundas Street, next to North Bridge Street.