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West Brom fan banned for gestures aimed at Birmingham supporter

A West Brom fan has been banned for gestures he made aimed at a Birmingham City supporter in the two sides’ meeting last year.

Racist yob Neil Grainger made offensive ‘monkey gestures’ during the Baggies’ victory against the Blues on the 15th of October last year.

He received a three-year football banning order, forbidding him from attending any match across the UK until March 2025, while West Brom issue a lifetime ban.

He was also handed a fine and court costs totalling almost £1,500.


The club wrote: “West Bromwich Albion Football Club has issued a lifetime ban to a man convicted of a racially aggravated offence.

“A 36-year-old has been found guilty under Section 5 of the Public Order Act, having performed a racist gesture during the club’s Sky Bet Championship fixture against Birmingham City at The Hawthorns earlier this season.

“The Baggies suspended the individual shortly after the incident occurred on Friday, October 15, 2021, and have today issued a lifetime ban following the conclusion of a trial at Dudley Magistrates’ Court, during which he also received a three-year football banning order and was fined almost £1500.”

Chief Executive Ron Gourlay said: “We will not tolerate any form of discrimination and our message to supporters remains clear; racism is totally unacceptable, and we will continue to seek the toughest available sanctions in reprimanding anyone found guilty of such an offence.

“Albion has a proud history of fighting racism and we will not hesitate in acting to ensure The Hawthorns is a safe and welcoming environment for all.

“Our staff will continue to work with supporters and West Midlands Police to ensure all instances of racism, either at The Hawthorns, at an away fixture, or online, are reported. Anyone who is found guilty of such an offence will be banned from the club for life.

“We again place on record our thanks to PC Stuart Ward, West Midlands Police’s Dedicated Football Hate Crime Officer, who worked with the club throughout this case.”


The 36-year-old was sitting in a home stand at The Hawthorns and was spotted by another fan who reported it to a nearby officer.

Grainger, of Cheslyn Hay in Staffordshire, was convicted of a racially aggravated public order offence after a trial at Dudley Magistrates Court yesterday (30 March).

He received a three-year football banning order to cover all matches across the UK. He was also given a fine and court costs totalling almost £1,500.

PC Stuart Ward, our football hate crime officer, said: “These were appalling and very offensive actions which have no place within football or society in general.

“The supporter who witnessed this did exactly the right thing in reporting it, as it helped us secure a criminal conviction against Grainger.

“The supporter told us they felt disgusted and ashamed anyone could do this at a match, and it’s a view I’m sure proper football fans will share.

“This conviction not only tarnishes Grainger’s reputation but can impact on employment and travel in future. He’s also lost a hobby in not being able to attend football games.

“It was clear during the pandemic how much football fans missed being at a live game with friends or family. Now through his own highly offensive actions he must miss out again for another three years.”

SEE MORE: Fan banned for five years over slurs and gestures at West Brom v Millwall

Twitters users had their say as the West Brom fan gets banned for gestures aimed at a Birmingham supporter…

@JAPC72: 👏👏👏👏 Should have been a life ban from every club in the world.

@Brampto18996083: Amazing work. We need to see more of this. Who would do such a thing? Ridiculous. Zero space for this in the world. The previous comment is true- should have been a lifetime ban and huge fine.

@TThrostle: Excellent news. I’m sure we can all agree that we’re glad that we no longer have to share oxygen at the hawthorns with them ever again. Good riddance!

@darrenh56546016: Disgusting. Needs to grow up and have a long hard look at himself! Well done west Midlands police once again!👍🏻

@parksey1972: Good to hear. Our history of being inclusive to everyone does not need tarnishing by individuals like that. Stand up to racism.

@DavidBriscoe9: No idea how the supporter reported this, I reported racism 2 years ago which happened weekly by some old gents behind me, sent email to the appropriate places and recieved absolutely nothing in reply. No follow up no nothing. Same old gents still there now🙄

@DavidWh23834382: 3 year’s is ridiculous ban for life no room for these cretins

@AirAmBird53: Racism cannot be tolerated in sport, work or in society. I hope we can all work together to become a more inclusive world. Such ignorance and shameful behaviour needs to be stamped out!

@KJ_93x: You’d think fans of our club would know better than anyone else with our history

@Jad1HC: My club 👏🏾 how it should be

@chrisw333: Good response, well done West Brom.

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