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Last Updated: Thursday, 25 March, 2004, 21:24 GMT
Pc sent off for tackling streaker
The streaker
Brian Pritchard faces a ban for tackling the streaker
A police officer who tackled a streaker during a football game in which he was playing faces a three-match ban.

Brian Pritchard, 29, was sent off after bringing the male streaker crashing to the ground during the final of the Unibond Cheshire Senior Cup Final.

As the Witton Albion skipper left the pitch, scuffles broke out among supporters at the game at Altrincham's Moss Lane ground in Greater Manchester.

Mr Pritchard is appealing against the decision.

Sparked anger

The drama began during Wednesday's match between Witton Albion and Woodley Sports.

At the moment I feel like jacking in football altogether
Witton club secretary Phil Chadwick
Mr Pritchard, Witton Albion's captain, leapt into action as the unidentified streaker raced onto the pitch.

He grabbed hold of him briefly and the man fell to the ground. He quickly got to his feet and was escorted from the pitch by officials.

Mr Pritchard's sending-off sparked anger in the crowd.

Police succeeded in breaking up minor scuffles and there were no arrests.

But feelings continued to run high after 10-man Witton went on to lose the tense match 2-1after extra time.

Appealing the decision

A spokesman for Witton Albion said: "Our central defender Brian Pritchard was sent off for apprehending a streaker, which was deemed violent conduct by the senior official.

"We are appealing this decision and are awaiting the result."

Graham Heathcote, manager of Altrincham FC, said: "Once the streaker had entered the field of play, the stewards, in a prompt and controlled manner, apprehended him and ejected him from the ground."

Witton club secretary Phil Chadwick told London's Evening Standard newspaper: "I am proud to be associated with this great club and have emailed the FA disciplinary department.

"I felt it right to make the FA aware of several facts that probably the match officials were not aware of. I must not divulge more at this stage.

"At the moment I feel like jacking in football altogether."


WATCH AND LISTEN
The BBC's Richard Askam
"The referee took his own action. He sent the player, an officer with Cheshire police to get changed himself."



SEE ALSO:
Football streaker given ban
11 Nov 03  |  Beds/Bucks/Herts


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