A BURNLEY FC fan climbed out of the stand and made towards veteran referee Mike Dean as he left the pitch at half-time, a court has heard.

Blackburn Magistrates' Court heard the match official had given two penalty decisions to opponents Everton in the first-half of the crunch Premier League match between the relegation rivals.

Stephen Heyworth was stopped by stewards before he got to the Mike Dean, but he could be seen gesticulating towards the team of officials as they headed towards the tunnel.

Heyworth later told police he wanted to get a ball signed by the players and the referee so he could raffle it for charity.

He also claimed he hadn’t noticed that Mr Dean had awarded the relegation rivals two penalties.

Heyworth, 56, of Peel Gardens, Colne, pleaded guilty to going onto the area adjacent to the playing area at Turf Moor.

He was made subject to a Football Banning Order for three years and fined £40, and also ordered to pay court costs of £85 and a £34 surcharge to fund victims' services.

David Morgan, prosecuting, said Heyworth had climbed over a barrier and dropped down to pitch level before making an attempt to enter the playing area.

“It appears he was seeking to remonstrate with the referee who was walking towards the tunnel,” said Mr Morgan.

He said Heyworth had relevant previous convictions, for pitch invasion in 2002 and a breach of a football banning order in 2008.

Simon Farnsworth, in mitigation, said Mike Dean was a very well respected official who had announced his retirement at the end of the current season.

“The defendant decided he would try and have a ball signed by Mr Dean,” said Mr Farnsworth.

“He had dropped down and was about to make his way towards were the players and officials left the pitch. He didn’t actually get onto the pitch.”

Heyworth's anger at the penalty decisions was premature at the game on April 6; the Clarets went on to equalise through Burnley-born strike Jay Rodriguez shortly before the hour mark before French winger Maxwel Cornet slotted home the winner with five minute remaining.

Burnley sit two points above 18th-placed Everton in the Premier League table with just five games remaining this season, although the Toffees still have a game in hand on the Turf Moor side.