A MANCHESTER City fan who assaulted a steward during the match at Turf Moor claimed the incident happened because he was protecting his teenage son.

Blackburn magistrates heard the steward claimed Mark Allan Grafton was clearly drunk and became abusive and threatening.

Grafton said he came out of the toilet and saw four stewards surrounding his 16 year old son and reacted to the situation.

And after hearing his version of events the magistrates declined to make a football banning order.

Grafton, 45, of Alexander Close, Longsight, Manchester, pleaded guilty to assaulting Paul Leason.

He was given a conditional discharge for 12 months and ordered to pay £85 costs and £20 victim surcharge.

Tracy Yates, prosecuting, said Mr Leason was on duty at the cricket field end when he became aware of another steward having an argument with a male who was being aggressive and abusive.

"The decision was made to eject the male at which point he squared up to Mr Leason," said Mrs Yates. "He swung out and connected with his forehead."

Grafton said he was a Manchester City season ticket holder as were his two children.

On the day of the incident he had been to the toilet and when he came out saw his 16 year old son surrounded by four stewards.

"I was just protecting my son but I didn't deliberately assault him," he said. "I take my kids to the match and I have never been in trouble before."