Coventry and West Midlands

Football fan banned from matches for three years after homophobic abuse

Catherine Muxworthy June 22, 2023

Liam Duce appeared at Dudley Magistrate Court on June 15 where he pleaded guilty to using threatening or abusive words and behaviour after he was arrested for homophobic abused at a Wolves vs Chelsea match back on April 8. The 24-year-old, of High Park Crescent, Sedgley, was given a three-year football banning order and fined £461.

Duce was one of three people arrested at Molineux Stadium for homophobic chanting. A Staffordshire man, Matthew Bramwell, who appeared at Dudley Magistrate Court on June 6, denied the charges against him; a section five offence of threatening, abusive or insulting and disorderly behaviour, and his case has therefore adjourned for trail at Walsall Magistrates Court in August.

PC Stuart Ward, football hate crime officer from West Midlands Police, said: “There is no place for discrimination in football, or society in general, and we will always fully investigate any reports we receive.

“There is no place for homophobia in football or society in general.”

PC Ward was appointed the UK’s first dedicated hate crime officer based within a football unit two years ago.

A press release from West Midlands Police explains: “He is leading our attempts to stamp out abuse both at football games and online abuse aimed at footballers and fans.

“His role has improved our ability to support victims and investigate the offences.

“He investigates complaints of hate crime linked to football, monitoring online interactions and working with the region’s clubs – at both professional and amateur level – to highlight what is an offence and the importance of reporting it.

“PC Ward also goes into schools to educate around discrimination and outline behaviour which can never be condoned, and link in with other bodies such as Kick It Out.”

You can follow @FootballUnitWMP for updates from PC Ward and the rest of the team on the work of this unit.