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Stoke fan banned for lighting flare

A Stoke fan has been banned from every stadium in Britain after setting off a flare during the club's Premier League defeat at Anfield on the opening day of the season.

Daniel Sturridge celebrates a goal for Liverpool.
Daniel Sturridge scored the winner as Liverpool defeated Stoke 1-0.

Paul Mottram, 40, of Stoke, ignited a canister during last month’s clash, and will not be granted entry to a British football ground for the next four years. He was initially arrested on suspicion of possessing a flare.

Mottram appeared at Appearing at North Liverpool Community Justice Centre and was issued with a football banning order. He was fined £500 and ordered to pay £85 in costs and £50 of victim compensation. 

A Merseyside Police spokesperson said: “This was a dangerous incident which could have had serious consequences and a potential for serious injury at an otherwise trouble-free event.

“It is disappointing that we had to deal with an incident of this kind at the beginning of the season... this type of behaviour has no place in the modern game, and will not be tolerated.”

A Stoke representative said: “As a club, we take incidents of this nature very seriously and fully support the issuing of a four-year banning order.”

Liverpool said they were "committed to tackling the growing problem of pyrotechnic smoke canisters in grounds -- something that has become a concern for clubs across the country“.

The club said policy was that “such devices are banned from Anfield“ and officials had sought to discourage their use. A statement said: “The ruling will hopefully act as a further deterrent to fans who engage in these activities and remind them of the consequences of bringing them to matches."

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