Wellingborough football thug banned from travelling to Euro 2016

James Shayler.
James Shayler.

A Wellingborough football hooligan dubbed the ‘Pig of Marseilles’ has been given a banning order preventing him from travelling to France ahead of Euro 2016.

James Shayler, 50, from Wellingborough, appeared before Northampton Magistrates Court after being served with a Section 21b Football Spectators Act 1989 banning notice.

The hearing was told Shayler had planned to travel to Marseilles, where England play Russia tomorrow night, and to Lens where England play Wales on Thursday, June 16, but did not have match tickets.

The police acted upon two complaints made against Shayler following alleged comments printed in a Sunday newspaper on May 22 which suggested his intentions were to travel to France to cause potential violent disorder.

Shayler was given his nickname for his role in rioting in the 1998 World Cup in France.

The court was told the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) had a “compelling case” for a football banning order based on the evidence.

Officers from Northamptonshire Police worked with the UK Football Policing Unit to make a case to ensure Shayler was unable to travel to France for the Championships which start tonight (Friday, June 10).

A decision on imposing a banning order was adjourned until July 11 at Wellingborough Magistrates Court.

However, the CPS successfully applied to have two bail conditions imposed as part of the banning order legislation.

The conditions are that Shayler does not leave England or Wales before the next hearing and continues to surrender his UK passport to Northamptonshire Police.

DCI Helen Knight, of Northamptonshire Police, said: “We are extremely pleased with this outcome.

“We have worked very hard to build a case that prevents this individual from travelling to the Euros where the evidence indicates he would be likely to be involved in football-related violence.

“This bail application prevents him from leaving the UK and doing that.

“At next month’s hearing we hope to secure a banning order that would prevent him travelling to the World Cup in Russia in 2018.”

National Police Chiefs’ Council Lead for Football Policing, assistant chief constable Mark Roberts, said: “Even so close to the start of the tournament we are pleased to see that forces continue to ensure people who decide to act in a criminal manner will be investigated and if the evidence is sufficient prevented from travelling and engaging in disorder.

“Operations will continue to ensure that the small minority of high-risk supporters don’t ruin the tournament for genuine fans.”