Diamonds ban supporter who shouted racist abuse
He was fined by magistrates at a court hearing in May
AFC Rushden & Diamonds have banned a supporter for five years after he shouted a vile racist comment which landed him with a criminal record.
Clive Williams was fined by magistrates in May after hurling the abuse towards Barwell's Kai Williams when the Leicestershire side visited Hayden Road on September 26 last year.
He then ejected himself from the stadium after fellow supporters told him to get out before apologising for his repulsive remark.
The 69-year-old later admitted a charge of racially aggravated public order and was fined £1,136 and told to pay costs of £85 and a victim surcharge of £114.
Now, with criminal proceedings concluded, he has been banned from all of the Diamonds' home fixtures for the next five years.
A club statement released today (Friday) said: "Following the conclusion of the court case, the club’s discipline committee met in order to discuss any further action that should be taken.
"In conjunction with Northants Police's football liaison officer and taking into account the views of the players involved and our counterparts at Barwell FC, the supporter has been banned from attending all home games for a period of five years.
"The board thanks the vast majority of our supporters who create a family-friendly and welcoming atmosphere at Hayden Road but would remind everyone that any form of abuse or discrimination, at home or away, will not be tolerated. Should you witness any poor behaviour whilst watching the match, please report it to the nearest steward who will take any necessary action.
"Thank you for your support in helping to ensure that Hayden Road continues to be a safe and welcoming place for all supporters to watch and enjoy the game."
Northampton Magistrates' Court had heard Williams, of Sandy Close in Wellingborough, was on the left side of the stadium when Diamonds winger Luke Fairlamb lined up to take a free-kick with about 15 minutes to go and Diamonds trailing 1-0.
But before the free-kick was taken Fairlamb reacted to a comment he had heard. That comment was made by the pensioner, who shouted a derogatory reference about Black Lives Matter towards Kai Williams.
Referee Richard Eley halted the game and the incident was later reported to the police, who took a number of statements as part of their investigation.
Williams left the stadium after other spectators told him to go and gave his details to stewards before a "full and frank" admission when interviewed by officers.
At court his legal representative, Laura Illingworth, said that hat his actions were very out of character and that he was "not a racist man" who let his frustrations out of his mouth before he engaged his brain.
She said: "He has been to a million and one football matches and he has never uttered words like this before.
"He will not utter them again."