Page last updated at 11:59 GMT, Saturday, 3 April 2004 12:59 UK

Streaker-tackling Pc ban reversed

The streaker
The streaker was quickly tackled by Mr Pritchard

A player who tackled a streaker during an amateur soccer match has won an appeal against his red card.

Police officer Brian Pritchard, 29, was sent off after grounding the male streaker during the final of the Unibond Cheshire Senior Cup Final.

The referee sent the Witton Albion skipper off for violent behaviour and the player faced a three-match ban.

The FA said the disciplinary commission ruled it was wrongful dismissal and the red card was rescinded.

"No suspension will follow," said the FA.

Witton manager John Davison said: "Common sense seems to have prevailed."

Mr Pritchard has played more than 400 matches for the team.

It is still unclear if the constable, who is based at Warrington, will face any disciplinary action from Cheshire Police.

Fair play to him. It's brilliant it got overturned
Streaker Steve Gray

Mr Pritchard leapt into action as the streaker raced on to the pitch during the final between Northwich-based Albion and Stockport's Woodley Sports at Altrincham's Moss Lane ground in Greater Manchester last month.

He grabbed hold of him briefly and the man - Woodley fan Steve Gray - fell to the ground.

He quickly got to his feet and was escorted from the pitch by officials.

Mr Gray, 27, from Stalybridge, welcomed the news that no action was to be taken against Mr Pritchard.

He said: "Fair play to him. It's brilliant it got overturned.

"But he still shouldn't have tackled me. He should maybe have restrained me instead.

"But it was never a red card."

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

There were minor scuffles, which were quickly broken up with no arrests.

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



SEE ALSO
Pc sent off for tackling streaker
25 Mar 04 |  Manchester
Football streaker given ban
11 Nov 03 |  Beds/Bucks/Herts

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