A STOCKPORT County fan has been banned from all football grounds in the UK for three years after he admitted throwing a smoke flare towards the pitch at the University of Bolton Stadium.

Wigan magistrates heard how Benjamin Cross was attending the Bolton v Stockport FA Cup game on November 7 when he committed the offence.

Cross, aged 22, of Albanley Crescent, Bridgehall, Stockport, pleaded guilty to possessing a smoke flare during a designated sporting event and throwing it towards the playing area.

Magistrates made a football banning order which prevents him from going to UK matches and requires him to surrender his passport when matches abroad are being played.

He must also not go to within half a mile of any ground Stockport County are playing at for four hours before or after a game or enter any town or city where the men’s England team are playing for eight hours before and after the match.

Cross was fined a total of £500 plus £135 in costs and charges.