Portadown man pleads guilty to Celtic pitch assault

Portadown man John Hatton runs towards PSG striker Kylian Mbappe during Tuesday's game
Connla Young

A Celtic fan from Co Armagh has admitted assaulting a Paris Saint-Germain player during the clubs' Champions League clash this week.

John Hatton (21), from Portadown, appeared before Glasgow Sheriff Court after running onto the pitch at Celtic Park on Tuesday night.

The Tesco worker was charged with assault and offensive and threatening behaviour at a football ground after he jumped a metal railing and attempted to kick £160m-rated French forward Kylian Mbappe.

Hatton, who was reported to have wept in the dock, also pleaded guilty to behaviour likely to incite public disorder by approaching the player.

He was granted bail and the case was adjourned until October 11 for reports to be submitted.

However, Sheriff Sukwinder Gill banned him from every football ground in Britain.

“I don't know much about football,” he said.

“But this was a high profile match. It was a Champions League match. It was televised across the UK."

The pitch invasion happened in the 40th minute just after PSG had scored their third goal in a 5-0 victory.

Hatton's fresh air kick missed Mbappe and he was quickly led from the field by stewards, amid boos from fellow supporters.

Defence lawyer Dan Cameron said the match wasn't disrupted for any great length of time.

“He had consumed a lot of alcohol and can only remember parts of the day," he said.

A second man, 61-year-old Anthony Lavelle, with an address in St Albans, Hertfordshire, was also fined £400 after he admitted angrily punching Hatton on the head as he was being led away by police.

The judge turned down a request to impose a banning order on him.

Sheriff Gill told Lavelle: "You have been going to football matches for 48 years with no trouble and you take your nephew to matches.

"If Celtic Football Club wish to revoke your season ticket that's a matter for them, but, I would hope they would see sense."

Celtic have meanwhile been charged by Uefa with “field invasion” and the case will be heard on October 19.

If the governing body comes down hard on the Glasgow outfit it could be forced to play games behind closed doors.

The club has been sanctioned 11 times in the past seven years by Uefa with fines totalling £160,000.

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