A BLACKBURN Rovers fan who ran onto the pitch and assaulted a Burnley player during the derby match has been banned from attending football matches for three years.

Blackburn magistrates heard company boss Jordan Lewis Woods was so drunk he had no recollection of the incident which also resulted in an injury to a steward.

Woods, 30, of Cadshaw Close, Blackburn, pleaded guilty to assaulting Burnley’s Ashley Westwood and steward Philip Riley and going onto the Ewood Park pitch.

He was sentenced to four months in prison suspended for 12 months, fined £450 with £85 costs and £115 victim surcharge and ordered to pay £100 compensation to Mr Riley. He was also made subject a football banning order for three years.

District judge David Purcell told Woods the offences were so serious that only a custodial sentence was appropriate.

District Judge Purcell said: "The potential was there for there to be major disruption as a result of your behaviour.

“This was an extremely serious incident which took place in front of some 16,000 people.

“It only needs a small spark, particularly at this kind of match to cause major disorder.”

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District Judge Purcell said Woods had let himself and his family down and also the club he had supported for 20 years.

The court heard Woods went onto the pitch from the Riverside stand and grabbed at Mr Westwood’s throat.

He was quickly put to the floor by other Burnley players and then taken hold of by the steward. He lashed out and caught the steward on the ear.

Damien Pickup, defending, said the date of the match was also his client’s birthday.

He said: "He drank far more than he usually would and describes himself as being in a drunken stupor.

“He had no recollection of the incident and says that when he woke up in the cells it was like a bad dream.

"He was told by the custody staff what he had done and was horrified.”

Mr Pickup said Woods had subsequently written to both clubs apologising for his behaviour.

In his letter he said he was deeply shocked and ashamed by his behaviour.

The letter read: “I have two young children and the fact they will one day be able to access the footage of this incident horrifies me. In the past I have witnessed incidents like this and thought what an idiot. Now I am that idiot. I can’t change what happened but I will have to live with them for the rest of my life. I have embarrassed my family, my town and the club I have supported since I was a child.”