Bristol City fans admit affray after Leeds United clash

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By Bedminster People | Tuesday, October 27, 2009, 07:00

Three Bristol City fans have admitted affray when they clashed with Leeds United supporters in a city centre pub.

James Sivell, 31, of Nutgrove Avenue, Bedminster; Charlie Claridge, 21, of Station Road, Shirehampton; and Martin Rawlings, 22, of St Anne's Road, Barton Hill; pleaded guilty to the charge at Bristol Crown Court yesterday.

The incident happened on March 7 at the Bunch of Grapes in Denmark Street.

The court heard previously that a group of five Leeds supporters were drinking in the bar without a problem, when 25 to 30 City supporters returning from an away game at Derby arrived for a drink.

A fight ensued and a head-butt, glass throwing and punches were all captured on CCTV. The City fans, who included the three defendants, were thrown out of the pub.

Fellow Robins follower Dean Ford, 23, of Harolds Way, pleaded guilty to the charge at a previous hearing on the basis the fracas was not football-related and he was no football hooligan.

Matthew Comer, defending Ford, said the fight had not started because of football.

"It was simply an incident after a football match," he said. "He had seen Bristol City in Derby, gone to the pub and a fight broke out. It was not motivated by football."

However, the Crown has maintained throughout that the incident was footballrelated because of evidence from a barman who said that when members of the Leeds group identified themselves there was a cry of "We are ****ing City!" before the two-minute fight began.

Sivell, Claridge, and Rawlings were bailed for a pre-sentence report to be carried out. One of their bail conditions is not to go to the Bunch of Grapes pub.

Kate Brunner, prosecuting, said the Crown was considering applying for football banning orders, which would prevent the fans from going to Ashton Gate in future.

Another supporter, Benjamin Curry, 24, pleaded not guilty to affray at a previous hearing and was bailed pending a trial.


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