Disgraced Man City fan found guilty of racist monkey gestures to Man Utd stars

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Manchester City fan Anthony Burke has been convicted of making racist monkey gestures at Manchester United players.

The shamed supporter was in attendance at the Etihad back in December 2019 for the Manchester derby.

And footage of the 42-year-old in the crowd was captured on TV cameras at the ground.

Burke was shown with his mouth open, and both hands raised to his waist.

The father from Wythenshawe pleaded not guilty back in August 2020 to a racially aggravated public order offence.

But in a trial at Tameside magistrates court on Wednesday, the Manchester Evening News report a judge found him guilty.

Burke was fined £500 and hit with a three-year football banning order, preventing him from going to future games.

The footage and stills from the match were shown in court as part of the evidence.

Burke accepted swearing and gesturing towards the players – Fred, Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard – alongside many others in the crowd, but denied any racist connotation.

Nick Smart, prosecuting, explained how tensions were high among supporters at the time with the score 2-0 to United in thr 67th minute.

Burke was sat in the front row at the Etihad when United players approached the corner flag.

And describing the fan’s behaviour when the United stars headed across, Mr Smart told the court: "It would replicate that of a monkey shouting.”

Giving evidence, Frank Coulson, a steward at the Etihad, told the court he saw and heard Burke shout 'oo, oo, oo, oo’.

He later said he was "100 per cent sure it was a monkey sound”.

Mr Coulson also added: "I have never come across it before. I would say it was racism.

"I saw a gentleman, a large gentleman with a beard going 'oo, oo, oo, oo'. One hundred per cent that's what he was doing."

The court also heard how coins, lighters and other missile were at the time being thrown by the crowd towards the United players.

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  • Manchester United FC
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