A Derby County fan involved in crowd trouble during last season’s match at bitter rivals Nottingham Forest has said he acted ‘out of character’ as his football banning order was quashed.
Kyle Gregory, 18, of High Street, Riddings, threw an empty water bottle towards Reds fans during the match at the City Ground in March.
The sales rep was caught on CCTV and after seeing an appeal on Nottinghamshire Police’s Facebook page, in which he was pictured, handed himself into police.
Magistrates handed Gregory a fine and a three-year ban, which would have covered all Premier League and Football League games as well as England internationals, which he appealed.
A barrister represented Gregory in court and he got the order dropped and some of his legal expenses paid.
Talking about the day of the Forest match, Gregory said: “My grandfather died two days before so it was out of character.
“I’ve never been in trouble before. Everything just got on top of me and it was just in the heat of a moment and something I would never do again.
“At the time you don’t think much of it but obviously they are taking stuff like this very seriously. I know I will never do it again.”
He missed five Derby matches as a result of the ban and went to his first match since the order was overturned against Blackburn Rovers on Tuesday, September 18.
Gregory, who attends matches with his dad and two brothers, was one of three football fans banned from matches following crowd trouble during the Forest and Derby match, which ended 0-0.
If the order was defied, it could have also led to six months in custody.
City magistrates in Nottingham also imposed a fine on each fan of £85, with £85 prosecution costs and a £30 government surcharge.
The men had pleaded guilty to throwing objects at the City Ground, Nottingham, on March 11.
Gregory said the process of going through the courts had been ‘a bit of a nightmare’.
He said: “It was quite scary. I initially saw a photo of me and about four or five other fans and I just rang up (the police) to say one of them was me and it went from there.
“I had an interview with police and then it went to magistrates court, which is where I got the three-year ban. I decided I was going to appeal it because I thought it was harsh.
“I was pleased (that the ban was overturned) because I have had a season ticket with Derby for 10 years now so when you get it taken away, you realise how much it means. I’m just pleased I can go to the matches again.”
Gregory’s mother, Catrina Gaucher, added: “I don’t condone what he did. We just did not feel he deserved the three-year ban over this. He is a good lad. He has never done anything wrong in his life before.
He has been a season ticket holder for 10 years and played football for a local team from the age of six until he was 18.
“Three references were given to a judge at the crown court. One was from his football manager who gave a written reference on his behalf to the say he has never shown any aggression on the pitch.
“He has also helped run a girl’s team and train them as well in his spare time.”
- This story first appeared on Nottinghamshire Live.