Football fan fined after ‘bending it like Beckham’
LONDON — A football fan was fined £305 ($506) on Monday after “bending it like Beckham” when he ran onto the pitch and cheekily took a free kick during Tottenham’s 1-0 win at West Ham last month.
Jordan Dunn, a 22-year-old from Kent, earned internet notoriety when he invaded the Upton Park turf just before Tottenham’s Christian Eriksen was about to take a set-piece in the second half of the Premier League clash.
With Eriksen unaware of what was coming, Dunn ran up to the ball and curled in a shot which was easily saved by West Ham’s Spanish goalkeeper Adrian.
The supporter was then chased by a steward amid cheers from the crowd before being apprehended.
Appearing at Thames Magistrates’ Court in East London on Monday, Dunn apologized for a “moment of madness” and pleaded guilty to the charge.
He was spared a ban from attending future matches, with District Judge Gareth Branston showing a sense of humor with a reference to the hit film “Bend it like Beckham” which takes its title from the ability of former Manchester United and England midfielder David Beckham to score brilliant curling free-kicks.
“Some time into that game a young man ran onto the pitch. That was you. You weren’t paid to do that,” the judge said.
“You took it (the free-kick) for them. To be frank you were probably a little tired by the time you got to the ball.
“It was a longer run than was strictly necessary.
“You had consumed alcohol and your stride pattern was a bit out of kilter but to borrow a phrase you did bend it like Beckham.
“Regrettably it was about 30mph slower than Beckham.”