Falkirk fan who invaded pitch after Rangers win gets life ban from stadium

Murray ran onto the pitch after Falkirk's late win over Rangers in March. Picture: Michael Gillen
Murray ran onto the pitch after Falkirk's late win over Rangers in March. Picture: Michael Gillen
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A fan banned from Falkirk Stadium for life after invading the pitch to celebrate his team’s late winner against Rangers will still be able to support them – but only away from home.

Michael Murray (28) was one of several supporters who surged onto the playing surface on March 18 when the Bairns scored in stoppage time to clinch a 3-2 victory.

He was seen shouting and swearing at the end of a dramatic match and arrested as he left the ground.

At Falkirk Sheriff Court last Friday he pled guilty to breach of the peace and placed on a community payback order including 100 hours unpaid work.

But the dad-of-three escaped a total football ban under the Police, Public Order and Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 2006 that would have denied him entry to every ground in the country.

Sheriff David Mackie was told Murray had received a letter from Falkirk FC banning him for life from the stadium and from buying tickets – and decided it would be “an unnecessary sanction”.

The sheriff said: “The court understands football fans can become excited, especially when there’s a late winner, but the potential for unrest is significant and something the court has to take seriously.”