Football fans in court after brawl

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A TRIO of football fans from the Dearne area have been sentenced for their part in a brawl with rival supporters after a match in London.

Ben Pankovics, 20, John Sheridan, 21, and Ian McAlister, 23, were among a group of eight men who travelled to Wembley last May to watch Rotherham United take on Dagenham & Redbridge in the League Two play-off final.

After watching the Millers’ lose 3-2, they boarded a train at Baker Street station heading towards King’s Cross.

During the journey, the group became rowdy and started chanting loudly.

As the train arrived into King’s Cross, a fight broke out between the group and other supporters which spilled out onto the platform.

During the brawl, bottles were thrown at the train and the men threatened passengers on the train with violence.

British Transport Police investigated and eight men were identified and arrested using CCTV footage of the incident.

Details of the incident were revealed when the men appeared at Blackfriars Crown Court for sentencing last month.

Pankovics, of Cowper Road, Mexborough, pleaded guilty to a public order offence and received 100 hours community service and was ordered to pay £200 costs.

Sheridan, of Cliff Way, Denaby, pleaded guilty to affray and received four months imprisonment suspended for 12 months. He was also ordered to complete 100 hours community service and pay £200 costs.

McAlister, of Moordale View, Rawmarsh, admitted a public order offence and received 100 hours community service and was ordered to pay £200 costs.

Five other men received varying sentences, and two of them - Craig Rockett, 33, of Pepper Close, Rotherham and John Vernon, 26, of Badsley Moor Lane, Rotherham - were banned from attending football matches in England and Wales for three years.

The investigating officer Detective Sergeant Ant Jones said: “This was unnecessary violence which caused a great deal of distress and fear for those passengers who were simply travelling on the Tube and were unfortunate to run into these men. The behaviour of individuals such as these only serves to ruin a good day of sport.”