A West Ham fan who ran onto the pitch to confront the Chelsea players on Monday night has been arrested and is set to face a lifetime ban from London Stadium if found guilty.
Ian Paul Crouch, 51, has been bailed to appear at court in two weeks’ time.
Should magistrates find him guilty of the criminal offence, the Hammers will ban him from the ground as they look to stamp out any further trouble inside the Stadium.
Crouch ran onto the pitch after Eden Hazard had fired the Premier League leaders into the lead and ran towards the West Ham fans to celebrate.
He climbed over the advertising hoardings and got to within a few feet of Hazard and his team-mates who were celebrating the opening goal.
David Luiz had to step in and help stewards, before making a thumbs up gesture as they took the fan away.
The Metropolitan Police took immediate action against the West Ham supporter and said in a statement: ‘Three people were arrested in connection with last night’s match between West Ham and Chelsea in Stratford.
‘A 51-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of pitch encroachment. Ian Paul Crouch, was subsequently charged with going on to an area adjacent to the playing area under sections 4 and 5 of the Football Offences Act 1991. He has been bailed to appear at Thames Magistrates’ Court on 21 March.
‘[In addition] A 51-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of common assault. An 18-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of attempting to enter a stadium whilst in possession of a flare.
This is pedantic I know, but he didn’t actually encroach on the pitch. He only got as far as the 2 mile stretch of green carpet between the stand and the pitch.
Don’t the Police wording of the offence drive you crackers – fifty odd thousand people saw this idiot trying to get onto the pitch and being restrained by some guys dressed in grey, there’s no suspicion about it – it’s cut and dried, he’s guilty, case closed – throw the book at him – bloody fool!
51 years old, my god when will he get a life.
It’s the playing area and anywhere you have access to the pitch. He’s a bell end who deserves to be banned.
I have mixed feelings about this. The guy has already bought shame on our club by getting on the pitch and being arrested so I wish he had kicked Costa in the nuts too.