Two men handed three-year ban from football games after running onto Cardiff City pitch

230721 Cardiff City Stadium

Two men have been banned from attending football matches after running onto Cardiff City Stadium pitch during a head to head with Brighton and Hove Albion.

40-year-old Darryl Curtis from Treorchy and 21-year-old Keiron Walsh from Newport were both charged with going onto the playing area, without lawful authority or lawful excuse, contrary to the Football Offences Act 1991.

They went onto the field at separate times during the Carabao Cup game on Tuesday August 24 2021, forcing the referee to delay the game.

Cardiff Magistrates Court

Walsh appeared before Cardiff Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday (January 18) while Curtis appeared at the same court on December 20 2021, South Wales Police confirmed.

Both men entered guilty pleas. Walsh was fined £160 with £85 costs, and Curtis was fined £120 with £85 costs.

Both received Football Banning Orders preventing them from attending any Regulated football match in the United Kingdom for the next three years.

As part of the order, they will also have to surrender their passports to the police when Wales’ national football team are playing fixtures abroad.

A 15-year-old boy who also invaded the pitch received a club-ban.

PC Christian Evans, from South Wales Police, said: “The overwhelming majority of Cardiff football fans are well behaved and passionate about their team.

“But whenever there is evidence of football-related disorder or violence we always pursue those responsible in order that appropriate action is taken.

“I hope this court result sends out a clear message that similar behaviour will not be tolerated at the Cardiff City Stadium.”

Cardiff City operations manager Wayne Nash provided the court with an impact statement outlining implications regarding such behaviour.

He said: “We as a club have a duty to provide a safe, secure and welcoming environment for all persons attending and working events and as such the playing surface needs to be a place of sanctuary for the players where they can go about their work without fear.

“If we cannot provide this secure environment, then their safety is compromised because at any moment we could have somebody enter the field of play or an area that they are not entitled to occupy and assault a player or member of staff.

“A Football Association fine of thousands of pounds is a possibility despite the excellent record of safety provision at the Cardiff City Stadium.

“This type of behaviour is difficult to manage by club stewards, to whom the named showed no respect.”