Manchester City fan, 42, who mimicked CPR gestures at Liverpool supporters in vile reference to Hillsborough disaster while in the crowd with his 10-year-old son is banned from football matches for three years
- David Murphy, 42, was at a Carabao Cup match against Liverpool in December
- He mocked Liverpool fans during City’s 3-2 victory at the Etihad Stadium
A Manchester City fan has been banned from football matches for three years for making offensive Hillsborough gestures at Liverpool fans – while in the crowd with his young son.
David Murphy, 42, was seen to make the gestures – mimicking CPR – when City beat their Premier League rivals 3-2 in the Carabao Cup in December, last year.
Murphy, who attended the match at the Eithad Stadium with his 10-year-old son, admitted a charge of using threatening or abusive words or behaviour likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress when he appeared at Manchester Magistrates’ Court on Thursday.
But he denied making the gestures, saying they were intended to be ‘calm down’ movements directed at the Liverpool fans.
Suzanna Ludlow, prosecuting, told how Murphy had made the ‘offensive’ gestures after first flicking two-fingers at rival fans.
Manchester City fan David Murphy, pictured, made offensive gestures to Liverpool fans during a Carabao Cup match between the two clubs at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester in December
Murphy, pictured here outside Manchester Magistrates Court, was told his actions were classed as ‘tragedy chanting or gestures’ and could have led to serious disorder
He was then seen to make repeated ‘CPR movements’ with his hands that were ‘interpreted as references to the Hillsborough disaster’.
CCTV video, played in court, showed Murphy clenching his hands together and repeatedly pushing them down.
Ms Ludlow said Murphy’s actions were classed a ‘tragedy chanting or gestures’ and could have caused serious disorder.
‘Tragedy chanting’ is when fans sing deeply offensive songs that reference stadium disasters or fatal accidents involving players or supporters.
Liverpool fans have previously been targeted after 97 fans died in a crush at an FA Cup semi-final at Hillsborough Stadium, in Sheffield, in April 15, 1989
Murphy said he was aware of the Hillsborough disaster and that he was ‘part Liverpudlian’ and had family from the city.
Murphy said he was aware of the Hillsborough disaster and that he was ‘part Liverpudlian’ and had family from the city
Manchester City beat Liverpool 3-2 in the round of 16 match on December 22
He admitted making a two-fingered gesture at Liverpool fans, clenching his hands in a fist and then ‘making a movement’ with them.
But he insisted it was only intended to be a mocking ‘Get down, calm down!’ gesture.
Murphy said there had been an ‘awful’ atmosphere at the match and his son had been spat at and he’d had a coin thrown at him.
After seeing the video, he said he’d been disappointed with his behaviour and described himself as ‘family man’ with a professional job and who ‘didn’t go out drinking at weekends’.
He said he didn’t want his son to think that a ‘football shirt or where someone came from made a difference to how you thought about them’ and the incident had persuaded him that he didn’t want to attend any football matches.
But he opposed the banning order, describing his actions as a ‘overreaction of exuberance’.
‘I feel it’s unjust,’ he said.
‘I’m a good character, a good person. I’m a decent human being and care about people.’
Bench chair Kevin Phillips said he had consulted with fellow magistrates after seeing the video and they had ‘unanimously’ decided what Murphy was trying to mimic and what it was connected to.
He told him to reflect on his his behaviour and the example he’d set to his son.
Magistrates handed Murphy, of Frodsham, Cheshire, a three-year banning order and he was fined £265 and ordered to pay a £265 victim surcharge and £85 costs.
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