Bebington man issued with Football Banning Order following hate incident at Everton game

A Three-Year Football Banning Order has been issued to an Everton supporter following a Premier League game last year.

On Saturday 5 November 2022, during the Everton vs Leicester City game at Goodison Park, an Everton supporter shouted racial abuse at a Leicester City fan. A steward and police officer responded to the incident, assisted by fans nearby and Gillespie was arrested on suspicion of racially aggravated public order.

Matthew Gillespie, 32, from Bebington pleaded guilty on Monday 23 January at South Sefton Magistrates Court.

As well as the Banning Order, Gillespie was ordered to pay a fine, costs and compensation.

Detective Constable Mike Volynchook said, “It is pleasing to see this outcome, which shows just how seriously police, football clubs and the courts take such hate crimes in our football stadia.

“Such abuse is not welcome here in Merseyside, and people like Gillespie do not represent the overwhelming majority of football fans in the region.

“I would like to take this opportunity to encourage any football fans with information on racial abuse to speak with officers or stewards at the ground, or call 101 so we can identify and locate offenders, and ensure that they too face the consequences of their actions.”

An Everton Football Club spokesperson added, “Everton has a zero-tolerance approach to all forms of discrimination and harassment.

“Equality and diversity are at the heart of the football club and everyone at Everton is committed to ensuring that Goodison Park and Walton Hall Park are inclusive football stadiums that are welcoming to everybody.

“The overwhelming majority of supporters act with respect at all times, however when there are instances of hate crimes like this it is vitally important for the Club, law enforcement and the football authorities to act swiftly.”

If, for any reason, you do not wish to report a hate crime to the police, the independent charity Stop Hate UK runs a 24/7 confidential helpline for all victims of hate crime on 0800 138 1625 or You can also download the Stop Hate UK reporting app on Google Play or the Apple App Store.

You can report an incident of discrimination in football – whether it took place online or at a grassroots, non-league or professional game – by downloading the Kick It Out app. You can also report any incidents via their online form here:

Image: Merseyside Police

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