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Fascinating interview with famous Newcastle fan who punched a horse resurfaces online

A fascinating 2013 interview with a famous Newcastle fan who punched a horse resurfaces online and is doing the rounds again this week.

Barry Rogerson, who lashed out at a police horse in the head during a football riot apologised, claimed he is an animal lover.

“I reacted stupidly. I did not go out to attack a horse. I love animals – I’ve got three dogs, a fish pond out the back and I feed foxes across the road.”

He claims he is afraid to leave his house after being pictured with the sickening blow.

Speaking to BBC, the then-unemployed factory worker said he panicked after Bud, a police horse, was startled by a firecracker. He fled in front of him.

Rogerson, who then was on disability benefits since 2005 because of a lung condition, reacted to fans’ clashes with police after Newcastle fell to a 3-0 Premier League defeat at St James Park by rivals Sunderland.

He claimed that he did not know of the violence, even though he wore a scarf around him to hide his identity.

He said: “For some reason people are more upset about the fact that I hit a horse than a policewoman getting hurt.

“But I would like to apologise to the horse, to all the mounted section, to people of the North East.

“I am on medication and had been drinking, but that does not excuse what happened.”

A clip of the punch sparked outrage among animal rights campaigners with Rogerson, from Morpeth, Northumberland, claiming there have been 700 Twitter requests for his address.

He admitted: “I had two pints before the match, two bottles of beer at the match and a pint when I left early.

“I had just come out of the Terrace bar at St James’, turned right and I was right in the middle of it.

“There was a loud bang and it spooked all the horses. This horse came towards me and I just reacted.

“The fire cracker went off, and it charged at me. That’s when I panicked and threw a punch.

“It made contact with the horse, I tried to get him away from me with my left hand and then punched him with my right. It was sheer panic.”

Rogerson, then on a £55 a week disability living allowance and £50 a week incapacity benefit, was filmed running around Bud, before punching him.

He said the photos of the incident made it “look far worse than it was”. But he added: “I’ve no excuse.”

Rogerson’s wife Teresa was left stunned as she watched the images play out on TV.

She said: “He normally never goes out anywhere without me. I let him out once by himself and look what happens. It is so unlike him – he wouldn’t hurt a fly.”

Rogerson was released on police bail on suspicion of violent disorder, while another 30 other fans were arrested in connection with the disturbance, which left three officers hurt.

In September 2020, Bud the horse died in retirement aged 21.

Rogerson, of Bedlington, Northumberland, was sent to jail for a year after pleading guilty to violent disorder at Newcastle Crown Court in October 2013.

Judge Paul Sloan QC, said Rogerson had “had plenty of opportunities to move away [from the horse]”.

He added: “You stood your ground and attacked the horse by punching it in the head.

“There was a risk of serious injury, the officer could easily have been thrown from the horse and could have sustained serious injury.”

Bud thankfully wasn’t hurt in the attack but plenty of people sent him presents to his stables and his force’s mounted section at West Yorkshire Police received messages of support for him on social media from concerned members of the public.

The horse spent a decade with West Yorkshire Police after starting his career with the force in 2005.

And two years after being punched, Bud was promoted with the Metropolitan Police’s mounted section to help teach younger horses.

He retired after 14 years of service and spent his remaining days at The Horse Trust, based in Princes Risborough, Buckinghamshire, a place open to the public.

CEO of The Horse Trust, Jeanette Allen, said Bud had sadly passed away after a battle with colic.

She said: “Bud had a wonderful retirement, albeit a sadly short one after being taken from us by a fatal colic.

“He spent his days out in our beautiful fields with fellow retirees from the MET; Gawain, Hadrian, Kathleen, Duke and Jedburgh as well as Boris, Huntsman and Trojan who all spent time with other forces as well.

“It is our privilege to care for these incredible animals later in life that along with their officers give so much to our communities and I personally made sure that Bud never saw another football scarf while he is with us.

“We just so wish we could have had him longer, such a brave but gentle boy who remarkably still loved people.”

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