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Corner flag protester hands himself into police

The football fan who invaded the pitch and planted a corner flag in the centre circle is a respectable businessman who has voluntarily handed himself into police the Daily Mail have revealed. Sixty-one old travel operator Paul Colborne actions were seen by millions on television around the world.

‘I hadn’t planned anything, but I just felt I had to do something. You have to stand up for what you believe in. People have died and been put against a wall for what they believe in.  I had to do something. I wasn’t being violent, but I couldn’t take it anymore when Burnley went 2-0 up.

‘I got out of my seat in the Bobby Moore stand and climbed over the fence, got the flag and walked towards the centre circle.’

‘I am also worried and found it scary when the police said West Ham would be bringing a civil case against me. If they get fined say £30,000 they could come after me and I won’t be able to pay, but mine was a symbolic gesture. That was all I was trying to do.

‘I am a very worried man now. I don’t want people to say that I am a mindless thug and that the flag was an offensive weapon. That is rubbish.

‘Encroaching on the field of play is a criminal offence, but I am worried that they were going to link it all with those people who were semi-violent. I want to be dealt with as a separate entity which I believe it is.’

‘I do regret what I did. But it happened out of desperation. Even the steward who led me away said “ I agree with you mate…fair play to you”, but he took my season ticket from me. What worried me more was they said West Ham would be making a civil court case against me and I find that really scary. Mine was supposed to be a peaceful symbolic protest or gesture that we fans can’t take this anymore.’
‘They have lied. I hate the stadium but the carrot from them was that we would have a half-decent team. Instead we have got a horrible stadium and a team that hasn’t delivered anything. We play reserves in the FA Cup. Against Wigan which is a third-tier team, they were the favourites and they beat us. The thousands of supporters who pay good hard-earned money do not deserve to be treated like that.’

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About Sean Whetstone

I am Season Ticket Holder in West stand lower at the London Stadium and before that, I used to stand in the Sir Trevor Brooking Lower Row R seat 159 in the Boleyn Ground and in the Eighties I stood on the terraces of the old South Bank. I am a presenter on the West Ham Podcast called MooreThanJustaPodcast.co.uk. A Blogger on WestHamTillIdie.com a member of the West Ham Supporters Advisory Board (SAB), Founder of a Youtube channel called Mr West Ham Football at http://www.youtube.com/MrWestHamFootball, I am also the associate editor here at Claret and Hugh. Life Long singer of bubbles! Come on you Irons! Follow me at @Westhamfootball on twitter

16 comments on “Corner flag protester hands himself into police

  1. You really should have thought twice, mate – or maybe at all, because £30k will certainly test how much of a ‘businessman’ you are. As for not being linked with the ‘semi-violent’ people, do you you not think your actions may just have incited them a little?

    As for Wigan, they managed to beat both Bournemouth and Man City, so maybe we’re not quite as bad as you think. As for pPaying reserves in a Cup game? Well, that’s never been done before…… d’oh!

    Still, at least if you hate the stadium so much, losing your season ticket and being banned for life won’t be much of a punishment, will it?

    At least you’ll be able to watch the team battle relegation on Sky without needing a dish – you’ll get great reception just using your oversize ears…..

    • Wow ,,, and I thought it was just me .

      • These people and their ‘fings ain’t wot they used to be’ whining are driving me bonkers, and I’m a sixty year old bloke with over fifty years of following the club. Let’s really get back to our roots – work down the shipyard and play on the Canning Town cabbage patch. Tradition and history is what you make it. West Ham United ISN’T just a bloody stadium.

        • Yes your right it ain’t just about the stadium it’s worse than that,crap football,crap tactics,playing like an away team at home, tight owners etc etc

          • …and some negative fans that have turned the atmosphere toxic since we moved. [borrowed from Mark Noble]

  2. Why are you being personal about him? Keep to the topic.

    • I think you’ll find that this particular topic IS him. Don’t let ********s hide behind a ‘cause’ – call them out.

  3. love your posts demon
    so mr colborn clams to be just a regular fan i dont think so look back at his past posts hes a real board hater i think he is mates with late lamented laz the fish

  4. This clown can’t see that he was an integral part of escalating criminal activity, resulting in thuggery at various locations in the stadium? And now he is worried about the consequences? After his day in criminal court, I hope the club take him to the cleaners in a civil action. We live in a society where too many people feel they shouldn’t have to take responsibility for their own actions and decisions and it is always someone else’s fault. Why shouldn’t he contribute generously to the fine that the club will inevitably get for his actions?

  5. Seems like a nice guy to me

  6. The only positive thing I can say about his action is he had the courage of his convictions.He may live to regret his bravado and probably realises what an idiot he was to take that action.

  7. Life ban from home and away games is enough. No need to destroy him in court

    • I stand by my comment above. He should face the consequences of his actions. Why shouldn’t the club seek to recover the amount of the fine they are sanctioned with when it is due to him and the others that made pitch incursions? If I go and break the law, would you be happy for the fines to be levied on you rather than me?

  8. Hes right about all the stuff he says, we was sold a lie but going on the pitch was a step too far and he will lose his season tickets so surely that is punishment enough.

  9. Some of our fans come across as smug smart alecs who have never done anything wrong in their lives.

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