Football hooligan Jeff Marsh has been banned from football grounds for five years after admitting affray. The 44-year-old Cardiff City supporter was found in possession of a knuckleduster when he was arrested for affray outside the Ninian Park pub in Canton, Cardiff, last June.
The self-proclaimed hooligan, who has written two books about his exploits with the city’s infamous Soul Crew and is one of the organisers of the Welsh Defence League, was fighting with Celtic fans after the inaugural match between the teams at Cardiff’s new stadium.
Marsh, from Barry, admitted affray and possession of an offensive weapon at Cardiff Magistrates’ Court in January and was sentenced yesterday. He was given a four-month suspended jail term, 150 hours’ community service and ordered to pay £600 costs.
It is Marsh’s first football banning order as his previous convictions for football violence came before the 1990 Football Disorder Act which introduced the banning orders. In 1989 he was convicted of grievous bodily harm for stabbing two Manchester United supporters in Cardiff and was jailed for two years. In 1986 he was also convicted of a football-related assault in Halifax.
Marsh is an organiser of the English and Welsh Defence Leagues which describe themselves as “a ready-made army” against Muslim fundamentalists. There have been riots and arrests in English cities, including Birmingham and Luton, which have led to scores of arrests after the group has clashed with anti-fascist campaigners. There have also been marches in Wrexham and Swansea.
The groups have been described as “divisive” and “hate-based” by Plaid Cymru AM Leanne Wood.