A Wolverhampton Wanderers season-ticket holder became the latest Premier League fan to earn a banning order for racism Thursday.
Following news of a three-year ban issued to a teenage Bournemouth supporter in north London, Wolves fan Josef Smith has been locked out of stadiums for four years after targeting Chelsea's Tammy Abraham with monkey gestures in September.
The Dudley court heard a witness recall that Smith "curled his fists under his armpits in a chimp-like gesture" when Abraham scored a hat-trick in his team's 5-2 win at Wolves, according to quotes relayed by PA Media. Smith, who sat alongside his 70-year-old mother at the match, claimed he was actually making a "get back" gesture.
Smith was also found guilty of spitting in the direction of Chelsea fans. He denied that charge as well, claiming mucus from a "bad sneeze" was mistaken for spittle aimed at rival supporters.
Overall, the 40-year-old faces fines totaling £1,450 in addition to his barring from football grounds.
The court also heard Smith's mother was "blameless" during the incident. She no longer attends matches.