Attack sparks jail warning

Gareth Moore, 21, of Kent Road, Blackpool.
Gareth Moore, 21, of Kent Road, Blackpool.
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A FOOTBALLER who violently attacked opposition players has been warned he could be locked up.

Lytham Town reserve player Gareth Moore lashed out at three Longridge Town players when the amateur teams clashed in the Sports 360 West Lancashire Football league earlier this year – leaving the Preston team’s centre-back with a broken nose.

And now the 21-year-old, from Kent Road, Blackpool, has been warned the attack could land him behind bars.

Moore admitted assault occasioning actual bodily harm and two charges of common assault on the day he was due to go on trial at Preston Crown Court.

Judge Simon Newell refused to give him “ cast-iron guarantee” his plea would spare him jail.

The incident happened during the first half of Lytham Town’s away game against Longridge in February, while the match was halted to allow one of Lytham’s players to be treated for a serious dislocated knee injury.

It was during the stoppage Moore lashed out at Longridge’s centre-back, breaking his nose, before punching two players who came to intervene.

A spectator who was at the match, at Longridge’s Inglewhite Road ground, said: “All of a sudden I looked round to the other half of the pitch and there was one lad standing over three Longridge players who were all laid out on the pitch. The lad was shouting at them angrily.

“One of the Longridge lads had blood on his face and one of the others didn’t appear to know what day it was.

“The Lytham lad left the pitch, got his stuff and went.

“I’ve never seen anything like it on a football pitch.”

The two teams were playing a league match when the incident happened.

The game was immediately abandoned by the referee.

It has since been replayed, and Longridge Town chairman Brian Parkinson said although he was left “shocked” by the incident, there is no bad blood between Longridge and the Fylde coast club.

Mr Parkinson added: “The team were quite shocked by it. Everyone was waiting for the ambulance to come and this lad just attacked three of our players, bang, bang, bang.

“I was with the first team and when we rang up to see how the second team were getting on we heard the game had been called off.

“Occasionally you get something during a game where there’s a bit of a clash and the player gets sent off but this was while the game was not going on.

“By all accounts this player will not play for Lytham again and there is no bad blood between the two teams, the game was replayed last season.

“It was just one rogue player and we hope we do not see anything like that again.”

The league said it was waiting for the outcome of the court case before deciding what punishment it would hand out to Moore.

No-one from Lytham Town was available for comment, but Moore is no longer listed as part of their squad.

He was bailed and will be sentenced on December 13.

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