FOOTBALL FIGHT: Newport County fan Michael Nixey
A HOOLIGAN who started crowd trouble at a Crawley Town game has been banned from all football matches for the next three years.
Newport County fan Michael Nixey started a fight with Reds fans before invading the pitch at the league clash on October 16.
The 41-year-old appeared before Crawley Magistrates' Court last Thursday, when he was fined and given the banning order.
Nixey, of Newport, pleaded guilty to a charge of disorderly conduct provoking unlawful violence and trespassing on the playing area at a football match.
The court heard he was part of a group of County fans who had managed to get into a home supporters' area during the game at the Broadfield Stadium, which the away team won 3-2.
When Newport scored, the group celebrated and a fight broke out.
Nixey was spotted on CCTV by police "exchanging punches with other men".
The Newport fans were moved to another area of the ground, with their own fans, but trouble flared again and Nixey ran on to the pitch.
Richard Lynn, prosecuting, said: "The defendant climbed over a barrier and went on the pitch where he was arrested and detained.
"In interview, speaking about the fight, he admitted words had been exchanged and accepted that he had thrown a few punches, but said he couldn't remember if he had connected with anyone.
"He said he had been hit in return and left swollen above his right eyebrow.
"His team had scored and he was celebrating."
Tanya Price, defending, said Nixey, who works in Wales as a gardener, was "extremely embarrassed" at his "stupidity" on the day.
Miss Price said: "Emotions were running high and clearly inappropriate behaviour ensued.
"He has a three-year-old and another child on the way. This is not the sort of behaviour he is accustomed to. This is extremely out of character."
Nixey's three-year banning order means he is banned from all football grounds in England and Wales.
He was also ordered to pay £200 costs and warned he may be forced to surrender his passport before international games to stop him leaving the country.