A WANDERERS fan was so fed up with his team's lack of goals that he ran onto the pitch with a beach ball to score himself, a court heard.
Bolton Magistrates Court heard how the Whites' match against Nottingham Forest was halted as 23-year-old Dean Brooks attempted to find the back of the net with the inflatable ball.
The court did not impose a football banning order on season ticket-holder Brooks deciding the move would be disproportionate to his crime.
Nicola Ormerod, prosecuting, told magistrates how Brooks, of Malton Avenue, Deane, was in the lower seating area at the Macron Stadium on August 22.
At 4.45pm, frustrated by his team's performance, Brooks spotted a beach ball nearby, picked it up, ran to and opened a gate near the advertising hoardings and kicked the ball onto the pitch.
The referee halted the game as Brooks ran after it onto the field, attempting to score himself before he was grabbed by stewards. "The moment got the better of him," said Miss Ormerod. "Bolton Wanderers weren't doing too well with goals and he wanted to add to the tally."
She added that the incident was an isolated one which did not lead to a pitch invasion and Brooks was removed from the ground.
Peter Leather, defending said Brooks has supported Wanderers for many years and attends all the home games.
"He is not a drinker and not, by nature, a troublemaker," said Mr Leather. "Towards the end of the match there was no score and he was somewhat frustrated by that. Without stopping to think, he foolishly knocked the ball onto the pitch and followed it, trying to knock it into the goal.
"I am sure a lesson has been learnt by him."
Brooks, who pleaded guilty to illegally going onto a playing area, was fined £175 and ordered to pay £85 prosecution costs and a £20 victim surcharge.
Chairman of the bench, Peter Sloan told him: "It was a really stupid thing you did that day. People would get annoyed by that sort of behaviour and it could have caused trouble in the ground."
Speaking after the sentence, Brooks said he was relieved that he had not received a banning order so he could continue taking his nephews and niece to games.
"I regret doing it – it has caused a lot of bother," he said.
Brooks, whose only experience of playing football is kick-about games with his nephew, said he had been hoping to fire the beach ball into the goal. He added: "But with the first touch I sent it into the crowd instead. I think I'll stick to triathlons from now on."