A judge who said a football fan “bent it like Beckham” when he took a free-kick after a drunken pitch invasion has been hammered by a Premier League chairman.
Boozy football fan Jordan Dunn, 22, ran on to the pitch and took a free-kick during a London derby between Tottenham and West Ham on Saturday August 16.
Dunn, of Dover, Kent, admitted invading the pitch on Monday and was fined £305 for his “moment of madness”.
The life-long Hammers fan told police it was his dream to “run on the pitch and kick the ball”.
He denied being a hooligan or thug and apologised in court for invading the Upton Park pitch.
Passing sentence at Thames Magistrates’ Court in east London on Monday, District Judge Gareth Branston had said: “You had consumed alcohol and your stride pattern was a bit out of kilter, but to borrow a phrase you did bend it like Beckham.
“Regrettably it was about 30mph slower than Beckham.”
But Hammers chairman David Gold yesterday criticised the judge’s lighthearted approach taking to Twitter to ask: “Judge PRAISES drunk pitch invader who took free kick. What kind of message does this send out??”
He added Dunn’s effort was “easily” saved by the West Ham goalkeeper, but referred to Christian Eriksen’s subsequent free kick from the same spot, saying: “I understand that the professional footballer who followed you did not do any better.”
He also said it was a “small mercy” that Dunn had “decided to remain fully clothed”.
The judge decided not to impose a football banning order called for by the prosecution, saying he was taking into account Dunn’s previous good character.
Dunn admitted a charge under Section 4 of the Football Offences Act 1991, which says it is an offence to go on to the playing area without lawful authority or excuse.
The receptionist for Premier Inn on Dover seafront said he doesn’t have any regrets.
He said: “I know it was a mistake, but it was definitely worth it.
“My phone hasn’t stopped going off and even Gary Lineker tweeted about it. My mates think I’m a legend”