Teen streaker banned from Port Vale games for three years
A TEENAGE streaker who ran on to the pitch during a Port Vale game to win a £105 bet has been banned from attending football matches for three years.
Darren Walker, below, stripped off, jumped over the barriers and made his way on to the pitch as the Valiants played Accrington Stanley at Vale Park.
The 19-year-old, of Winghay Place, Chell Heath, dodged a number of players before performing press-ups in front of the crowd, holding up the game for several minutes.
Prosecutor Clair Moss told North Staffordshire Magistrates yesterday: "During Port Vale's game with Accrington Stanley on August 20 the defendant entered the playing area and while doing so he was completely naked. He was seen to be dodging around players and doing press-ups.
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"The incident was captured on various close circuit television cameras."
Mrs Moss told the court that Walker was taken to the detention room at the ground where he told a police officer: "I have got £105 for that".
She said Walker was laughing continuously and said he was also owed a "few beers".
Mrs Moss told the court: "The defendant's behaviour continued even when he was told that the club would probably receive a big fine from the FA because of what he had done."
Walker, who was unemployed at the time but now works in a cheese factory, was given a three-year Football Banning Order, which bars him from not only Port Vale but all other regulated games. He was also fined £220 with £85 costs and told to pay a £15 victim surcharge.
Simon Davies, defending, told the court his client's actions were a "moment of idiocy".
He said: "It was foolish and he now acknowledges this. He is a supporter and realises he cannot go on to the playing area.
"It was simply this. Five minutes into the second half he was offered money by his friends to do a streak.
"He thought it was funny when he did it. He did not think he would end up in court."
Mr Davies told the court that the teenager had already been banned by Port Vale, but he did not know yet for how long.
He asked magistrates not to impose a banning order saying it was disproportionate to what they had heard about the case.
Walker was given a copy of the court banning order and will have to report to Hanley Police station within the next five days with three passport photographs after which his details will be circulated to all football clubs.
Vale were winning the League 2 game 4-0 when Walker ran on the pitch. The final score was 4-1.
Chief executive Perry Deakin condemned the incident after the game on August 20.
He said then that while the majority of the Vale Park crowd found the incident amusing, Walker's actions were 'completely inappropriate', because there were young children in the crowd.
He added: "We were comfortably winning the game at the time, but this could have broken our players' concentration."
No-one from the club was available for comment last night.
Dave Felstead, vice-chairman of Port Vale Supporters' Club, said last night: "I suppose they've got him for encroaching onto the pitch. I can't understand why he did it really.
"It's just as well I didn't do it, as I don't think at my age I would have got the same cheers. But to be honest, this is the least of our worries at Port Vale at the moment."