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Last Updated: Wednesday, 23 February, 2005, 15:26 GMT
Dancing streaker gets soccer ban
Turf Moor, Burnley FC
The man break-danced on the pitch at Turf Moor
A man who ran onto a football pitch and break-danced naked during a televised FA Cup 5th round tie has been banned from matches for three years.

Mark Hargreaves, 34, performed his routine during Sunday's match between Burnley and Blackburn Rovers.

The Burnley fan has since lost his job and his girlfriend, Burnley magistrates heard on Wednesday.

Hargreaves pleaded guilty to pitch encroachment and was given a three-year football banning order.

Completely naked

The former professional boxer was also fined 200 and ordered to pay 50 costs.

The incident occurred during the second half of the high-profile Lancashire derby at Turf Moor - the home of Burnley FC.

Hargreaves, who has no previous convictions for football-related incidents, ran onto the pitch naked and began break-dancing before walking off the playing area and being taken away by police.

Andrew Robinson, prosecuting, said: "When asked, he said he did it for a laugh, because the football match was live on television."

Dylan Bradshaw, defending, told magistrates the former boxer had been invited to the FA Cup tie by his girlfriend's boss.

He took a bizarre and regrettable decision after having a couple of drinks before the game
Dylan Bradshaw, mitigating

"Since the incident on Sunday his girlfriend has given him the equivalent of a red card and has terminated their relationship," he said.

"He has also lost his job and has been made redundant. Although there is no evidence to suggest that this was related to Sunday's incident, it does seem to be an unfortunate coincidence.

"He is not a man who regularly attends football matches. He was there as a guest of his girlfriend's employer. He took a bizarre and regrettable decision after having a couple of drinks before the game."

Sentencing Hargreaves, Deputy District Judge Michael Singleton said: "This was a gross abuse of the hospitality that was shown to you and exhibiting yourself in this way was grossly self indulgent."

Another Burnley fan, who ran onto the pitch at half-time during the same game, was also banned from football matches for three years.

The court heard how 20-year-old Shaun Foxcroft, who was working as a barman at the club at the time, invaded the pitch because it was his dream to score a goal against Blackburn at Turf Moor.

The student, who pleaded guilty to pitch encroachment, was also fined 200 and told to pay 50 costs.




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