Arsenal fan who assaulted Man U star after invading pitch had downed eight pints

An Arsenal fan who assaulted Man U star Chris Smalling had downed eight pints of beer before invading the pitch, a court heard today.

Gary Cooper, 30, shoved the England international after “losing control” and running on to the pitch when Arsenal scored a penalty during the Premier League match at the Emirates Stadium on March 10th.

A probation officer said at Highbury Magistrates Court today that Cooper had not drunk for nine months.

She said: “He had drunk seven to eight pints of beer.

“It is no excuse for running into the football pitch.

“It seems that excitement got the better of him.

“The footage made it look worse than it was.”

Chief magistrate Gill Allison said the shoving incident could have caused “widespread disorder”.

She told Cooper: “The prosecution accepted that the force was not deliberate.

“Your conduct tarnishes the reputation of English football worldwide.

“There were tens of thousands of celebrants there. Your conduct could have caused widespread disorder.

“Many families could have been in attendance and have been put off after witnessing what they saw.”

Cooper, of Chertsey, Surrey, was slapped with a 12 month community order and must carry out 120 hours of unpaid work.

The father-of-three was also banned from all football matches for four years.

He was also ordered to pay a total of £335, of which £100 will be given to Smalling as compensation.

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