England

Sunderland fan banned for pushing Newcastle goalkeeper

A teenage Sunderland fan who invaded the pitch and pushed Newcastle United's goalkeeper to the ground has been given a three-year football banning order.

Ross Miller admitted common assault on Steve Harper and a public order offence at the end of the Wear-Tyne derby at the Stadium of Light on 16 January.

The 17-year-old of Tangmere, Spennymoor, County Durham, was also given a sixth-month referral order.

Sunderland Magistrates' Court was told that he had apologised for his actions.

The Sunderland season-ticket holder has visited Newcastle United's training ground to offer a personal apology to Mr Harper, and written to Sunderland chairman Niall Quinn, manager Steve Bruce and Northumbria Police.

Under the conditions of the banning order, he is prevented from going to any Sunderland or England fixture.

A Northumbria Police spokesman said: "Banning orders are an effective tool to help us ensure we can weed out those people who are intent in causing trouble."

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