Everton fan handed ban for hurling homophobic and racist abuse at Aston Villa players

A police photo of Steven Mooney who was handed three-year banning order for shouting homophobic and racist abuse at Aston Villa players during a football match against Everton

An Everton fan has been issued with a three-year football banning order for shouting homophobic and racist abuse at Aston Villa players. 

Steven Mooney, 47, who is from Sefton, appeared at Sefton Magistrates Court on Friday (8 September) and pleaded guilty to hurling bigoted abuse earlier in the year when Everton FC went up against Aston Villa.

The Premier League game, which took place on 25 February, saw Everton lose to Aston Villa 0-2. During the match, Mooney was heard yelling racist and homophobic abuse at several Villa players. 

The horrific abuse was reported by Everton fans, who informed Merseyside Police. Mooney’s football banning order (FBO) means he will not be able to attend a match until 2026.

An FBO bars an individual from attending all regulated matches in the UK, and they may have to surrender their passport to police before matches or tournaments overseas.

Detective inspector Alan Nuttall said that Merseyside is an “inclusive and welcoming place”, and people are “united in saying that there is absolutely no place for hate anywhere” in the area, regardless of which football team they support. 

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“I must thank Everton supporters and the club who reported this incident to us and following an investigation, Mooney has now been issued with a three-year football ban,” Nuttall said.

“This result shows that we will not tolerate hate anywhere on Merseyside. Mooney will now have a criminal record, and the consequences of this could prove to be significant.”

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The officer concluded by reminding the “tiny minority of fans who feel that racist or homophobic slurs are acceptable” that police will “work with clubs to find those responsible and bring those responsible to justice”.

Sadly, anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric remains rife in the world of football

Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale wrote in a pre-season article in August that he wouldn’t keep quiet about homophobia in football. He wanted football to be a safe place where his gay brother could “come to games without having to fear abuse”. 

Queer fans have reported experiencing anti-LGBTQ+ hate at live football events, and football fans have said that homophobia is a serious problem in the sport.

Both Leeds United and Wolverhampton Wanderers fans have been given hefty fines after the Football Association promised to crack down on the use of the homophobic ‘Chelsea rent boy’ chant at games

Several fans have also faced years-long bans from games for homophobic abuse. 

Anyone who has witnessed or experienced a hate crime is urged to call the police on 101, Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or visit the True Vision website. In an emergency, always dial 999.

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