Newcastle fan gets five-year ban for racial abuse of Liverpool players

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A Newcastle season-ticket holder has been banned from St James’ Park for an indefinite period (Richard Sellers/PA)

A Newcastle season-ticket holder has been handed a five-year football banning order after being found guilty of racially abusing Liverpool players during an undercover stewarding operation.

Michael Collins was observed making racial taunts during Liverpool’s 3-2 Premier League victory at Newcastle on May 4 and subsequently arrested by Northumbria Police.

He was earlier this week convicted of racially aggravated harassment at North Tyneside Magistrates Court and is now banned from attending all home and away matches for the next five years, while he was also fined £550.

Newcastle announced Collins has been banned from St James’ Park “for an indefinite period”.

Steve Storey, head of safety and security at Newcastle, said: “Racism has absolutely no place at St James’ Park or in our city and we will continue to do everything we can to drive it out of football and society.

“We want to send a clear message that any instances of discrimination will be dealt with as strongly as possible by the club with the support of Northumbria Police and other agencies.

“St James’ Park is a wonderful place to experience football and, together with our supporters and partners, we will continue to ensure it is a welcoming, inclusive and vibrant place for everyone.”

Chief inspector Chris Grice, who was Northumbria Police’s match commander for the game, added: “There is absolutely no place in society for racism, whether that is in the middle of the street, on social media or at a football match.

“Newcastle United fans are some of the most passionate football fans in the world and the vast majority of them are well-behaved and a credit to the region.

“We hope this particular conviction, and subsequent banning order, gives those fans the confidence to call out abusive behaviour in the terraces and report it to stewards and the police.”

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