Portsmouth yob who confronted Sunderland AFC star Luke O'Nien is banned from all football grounds

A yob who confronted Sunderland star Luke O’Nien after he fell into a stand during a crucial match has been banned from all United Kingdom football grounds for three years.

Wednesday, 18th September 2019, 12:50 pm
Updated Wednesday, 18th September 2019, 3:33 pm
Yob David Oppitz, standing in the grey Nike tracksuit top, snarls at Sunderland's Lee Cattermole following the incident with Luke O'Nien.

David Oppitz also started shouting at Black Cats midfielder Lee Cattermole following the incident during May’s League One play-off semi-final tie at Portsmouth’s Fratton Park home.

A court heard 51-year-old Oppitz then hurled abusive language at a female steward as she was trying to escort him from the televised match.

The unemployed father of four, who describes himself as a “huge fan with a strong passion for football”, has now admitted one count of using threatening or abusive words and behaviour to cause harassment, alarm or distress against the steward, Sharon Harris, and was banned from all United Kingdom grounds for three years.

A separate charge of going onto a playing area at a football match was dropped by Portsmouth magistrates.

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Giles Fletcher, prosecuting, told the court: "Two males were going to be escorted from the ground because of their behaviour.

"Oppitz was was very confrontational with Miss Harris. He said 'what are you looking at?'.

"She tried to ignore him. He said 'you're a vile piece of scum, **** you, you ****'.

"A police officer said 'she's just doing her job'. He said '**** you, you ****, you vile ****'.

"He was told he would be ejected from the ground for language of a vile nature, he said 'you ****, you old ****'.

"He was ejected from the ground."

Mitigating, Natalie Dennington told the court: "As birthday and Christmas presents his family buys him football memorabilia or pay for tickets to a match.

"On this occasion a ticket had been purchased as a gift."

Married Oppitz, who lives in Havant, near Portsmouth, was also ordered to pay £150 in compensation to Miss Harris.

Sentencing him, magistrate Stephen Downham said: "We are going to impose the football banning order for a period of three years.

"You must not enter the premises of a football match in the UK."

The goalless draw meant Sunderland reached the League One play-off final before losing in the dying seconds to Charlton Athletic at Wembley.