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Gillingham fans banned from football for three years after pitch invasion

By ThomasBrown  |  Posted: April 25, 2013

The pair will be unable to cheer on their beloved club at Priestfield until 2016

The pair will be unable to cheer on their beloved club at Priestfield until 2016

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Two Gillingham fans have been hit with three-year bans after invading the pitch.

Ryan Kelly, 27, of Trafalgar Street and Leon Cooper, 27, of Linden Road were arrested after running onto the pitch during the Npower League 2 game at Priestfield on Saturday 23 March.

Kelly and Cooper ran onto the pitch during the second half from the Brian Moore Stand and slid on their knees in front of the Rainham End goal.

They were escorted off the pitch by club officials and arrested by Kent Police officers.

Kent Police Football Liason Officer, PC Geoff Greensmith, said: 'When interviewed, both Kelly and Cooper, who were clearly intoxicated when they ran onto the pitch, claimed they were unaware that it was a criminal offence to do so.

'They are clearly now fully aware that it is a criminal offence and hopefully this will send out a message to others that this type of behaviour will not be tolerated. You will be arrested and brought before the courts and face being banned not just from the club you follow, but all football from the top tier of the non-league game upwards.'

Both men admitted the charges at Medway Magistrates' Court on Wednesday 24 April, which means they are now banned from attending any football match for the next three years. 

The banning order covers all games from Blue Square South level upwards.

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