A member of the Blackburn Rovers ground staff scored an own goal when he found a seat ripped out during the derby match against Burnley.
Blackburn magistrates heard Joshua Aspinwall was seen waving his “trophy” above his head on the streets of Clitheroe and later took it into a pub. But the club had ruled his behaviour off-side and after a disciplinary hearing he had been sacked from the job he loved.
Aspinwall (22), of Henthorn Close, Clitheroe, pleaded guilty to theft of a seat belonging to Blackburn Rovers. After hearing he had been arrested and kept in police cells overnight the magistrates ruled the time served to be sufficient punishment.
Miss Catherine Allan (prosecuting) said despite extra security at the match on March 17th there was trouble between rival fans.
“Police were deployed in riot gear as missiles, including bottles of urine and mobile phone batteries, were being thrown,” said Miss Allan. “Seats were broken during the disturbance and this defendant took one of those back to Clitheroe with him.”
She said Aspinwall had been seen with the seat in The Rose and Crown and on the street and his behaviour had been reported to the police.
Helen Oates (defending) said Aspinwall had been employed as a groundsman at the club for five years.
“He has already been punished massively as he has lost that job which he really enjoyed,” said Miss Oates
He had found the seat outside the ground and taken it to Clitheroe. “He accepts it was a silly, stupid thing to do and he deeply regrets what he did on that day.”