Wisbech striker given three-year ban from football grounds

PUBLISHED: 10:19 14 July 2008 | UPDATED: 08:32 02 June 2010

A SEMI-PROFESSIONAL footballer has been banned from attending matches after racially abusing an opposing player during a fixture in Felixstowe last year.

Wisbech Town striker Tom Gosling, 22, from Spalding, was hit with a football banning order at South E

A SEMI-PROFESSIONAL footballer has been banned from attending matches after racially abusing an opposing player during a fixture in Felixstowe last year.

Wisbech Town striker Tom Gosling, 22, from Spalding, was hit with a football banning order at South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court after pleading guilty to racially aggravated harassment.

Gosling admitted hurling a torrent of abuse at a black Felixstowe and Walton United player during a Ridgeons Premier League game on November 24 last year.

The court heard how Gosling had uttered a number of racially offensive terms as his team slipped to a 2-0 defeat.

Gosling, who is unemployed and lives with his mother, had already been handed a two-year Ridgeons League ban and a 42-game ban by the FA but the victim, Felixstowe and Walton centre half Danny Ebanks, decided to take legal action against him.

Mark Holt, representing Gosling, said: "My client accepts that when he plays football he sometimes gets too absorbed in the game.

"His team were being knocked about the pitch a bit but he wholly accepts that what happened should not have taken place.

"He has clearly received a punishment for this offence already, so is it fair to impose a football banning order on top of that?"

Gosling, who had once been part of the youth training scheme at Lincoln City Football Club, stood in court and listened as magistrates banned him from attending football matches or entering any football ground in England and Wales for the next three years.

He must also attend a police station and surrender his passport when the England national team play abroad.

Finally, Gosling was ordered to pay compensation of £100 to Mr Ebanks, a fine of £100 and court costs totalling £105.

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