Huddersfield Town fan banned for Nazi salute

By Jennifer Lipman, February 1, 2013

A football fan has been banned from attending all football matches in England for the next three years after making a Nazi salute during a Championship game.

Gareth Smith, a Huddersfield Town supporter, was handed the ban by the courts on Thursday after being photographed making the gesture at a match in December.

He was ejected from the stadium at the time, and is now banned from being within a one mile radius of Huddersfield 's football ground from three hours before kick-off on match days.

The 28-year-old pleaded guilty to a religiously aggravated public order offence, and was also fined £135 plus costs.

The incident took place at a home match against Leeds United, with other fans heard to shout the term “Yids” during the game.

Jewish fans were among the Leeds crowd and complained to stadium officials of hearing chants including “Jimmy Savile is a Yid” directed at them.

Edward Brady, chairman of the bench at Huddersfield Magistrates' Court, said: "This was a highly inflammatory act... that went way beyond the banter that could be expected, even in a heated football match."

Smith’s behaviour was condemned as “provocative and distressing” by Superintendent David Lunn of West Yorkshire Police, who said he welcomed the conviction as a “strong message that such behaviour will not be tolerated”.

A Community Security Trust spokesman said: "The sentence of a lengthy banning order gives out a strong message that antisemitic abuse will not be tolerated in football grounds."

Last updated: 10:32am, February 1 2013