Boy, 16, banned from football matches after being caught with weapons before Premier League game

A 16-year-old boy has been banned from going to any football matches in Britain for three years after being caught with a knife, a knuckle duster and a flare before a Premier League game.

The schoolboy, who cannot be named due to his age, tried to run away from cops when he was spotted with a group of fans ahead of the Brighton and Hove Albion v Crystal Palace clash last month.

After trying to flee from police, the teenager was caught and found to have a knuckle duster, a lock-knife and a flare, as well as a fake driving license and citizen card.

Officers made the discovery when they went to question the group of fans near Brighton train station in East Sussex at around 5.30pm on January 14.

It was ahead of the South Coast side’s 1-1 draw with their south London rivals during the Friday night clash at the Amex Stadium.

When police tried to search the youth on the way to the game, he made a bid to run away, but was stopped and arrested before being taken into custody.

He was charged with four offenses including possession of an offensive weapon, possession of a bladed article, possession of an adult firework and possession of items for use in a fraud.

At Worthing Youth Court last Thursday (Feb 3) the boy was handed a Football Banning Order for three years after pleading guilty to all the charges.

He was also sentenced to a Youth Referral Order and ordered to pay £40 costs as well as a £22 victim surcharge.

Magistrates also ordered the seizure of the weapons, firework and ID documents.

The football banning order forbids the boy from going to any professional or semi-pro games in the UK as well as in other countries, meaning he will have to hand over his passport whenever England play matches abroad.

He is also banned from going to any town or city in the UK where the England men’s first team are playing as much as eight hours before and after the game.

PC Darren Balkham, Sussex Police’s dedicated football officer, said on Wednesday: “This boy was swiftly arrested by officers before he could cause any harm.

“The football banning order severely restricts his ability to attend football matches both here in the UK and abroad.

“This conviction demonstrates that we will not tolerate public disorder at our football matches and sends a clear message that football supporters and the public do not wish to see violence connected with the game.”

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