Leeds United supporter sentenced to jail time for assaulting Newcastle boss Eddie Howe

Eddie Howe Newcastle 2023-24
A Leeds United fan has reportedly been sentenced to jail time for assaulting Newcastle United manager Eddie Howe in a Premier League match last May.

David Derbyshire, aged 35, residing on Marley Street in Beeston, has been sentenced to 12 weeks in prison and received a six-year football banning order by Leeds Magistrates Court.

The assault took place during a Premier League match on May 13 between Leeds United and Newcastle United at Elland Road. In the 93rd minute of the game, Derbyshire left his seat in the stands and entered the pitch-side technical area, where he had a verbal altercation with Newcastle United manager Eddie Howe. The situation escalated when Derbyshire pushed Howe's left shoulder.

Security promptly removed Derbyshire from the area, and he was subsequently arrested by West Yorkshire Police. The assault was broadcast live on television, drawing widespread attention.

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In response to this incident, Leeds United has banned Derbyshire for life, emphasizing a zero-tolerance policy towards such behaviour.

The accused pleaded guilty to charges on July 21.

Howe was shocked after the incident and he told BT Sport after the match: "That was a real surprise. I was concentrating on the game. It was the last thing you think could happen."

"I can't repeat what he said but it makes you think 'what if?'. It was personal to me. I can't remember if he pushed me or not, it was such a strange thing to happen. Moments like that make you think."

Chief Superintendent of West Yorkshire Police Richard Close insisted that the incident is "completely unacceptable" and that law enforcement will deal with it "very seriously".

"Criminal behavior of this kind is completely unacceptable, particularly where club staff or players are targeted during a large-scale sports event such as this. I know that fans of the sport, regardless of their club affiliations, will join us in condemning anyone who acts in this way. 

 "We will always treat incidents like this very seriously and we work closely with Leeds United and visiting clubs to fully investigate any offences and take robust action against those responsible, including seeking football banning orders against them."